By Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch
Feb 3, 2014
Wall Street at Close Report by MarketWatch February 03, 2014: U.S. stocks see worst selloff in several months
By Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch
Oct 17, 2013
Wall Street at Close Report by MarketWatch October 17, 2013: U.S. Stocks Climb; S&P 500 hits Record High
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks ended mostly higher on Thursday, lifting the S&P 500 to a record finish, as Wall Street turned from the latest fiscal drama on Capitol Hill to corporate earnings that included better-than-expected results from Verizon Communications Inc.
Quarterly reports also included disappointing third-quarter revenue from a handful of high-profile companies, including Dow components International Business Machines Corp. IBM -6.37% and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -2.42% .
“We’re now going to shift our focus from Washington to earnings. It’s going to be an OK quarter, but not a barn burner by any stretch of the imagination,” said Phil Orlando, an equity strategist at Federated Investors.
“All we did was nudge the can a few feet, because we have to come back and do this again in January and February,” said Orlando of the agreements to finance government operations until Jan. 15 and hike the U.S. debt ceiling through the middle of February. The standoff that shut the government for 16 days is “absolutely having an impact on economic growth and consumer spending. I don’t know that folks in Washington get that,” he added.
Climbing above its Sept. 18 record finish of 1,725.52, the S&P 500 index SPX +0.67% ended up 11.61 points, or 0.7%, at 1,733.15. It hit an intraday high of 1,733.45, surpassing the prior intraday high of 1,729.86 set on Sept. 19. Telecommunications performed the best and technology the worst of its 10 major sectors.
After a brief climb into positive terrain just ahead of the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -0.01% lost 2.18 points to end at 15,371.65. It had fallen almost 145 points during the session.
Verizon VZ +0.07% fed blue-chip gains, rising 3.5%, after the nation’s biggest cellphone carrier reported a sharp jump in third-quarter income.
American Express Co. AXP -0.08% led gainers on the Dow after it reported results that surpassed Wall Street estimates, with its shares up 5.1%.
IBM shares fell 6.4% after the computer-services provider reported a sixth straight decline in quarterly sales and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. declined 2.4% after the investment bank posted quarterly revenue below Wall Street’s expectations.
Bloomberg Enlarge Image
EBay Inc. shares lost 4% after the online auctioneer EBAY +0.08% projected softer-than-expected revenue and profit.
The Nasdaq Composite COMP +0.62% rose 23.71 points, or 0.6%, at 3,863.15.
For every share falling, just over five advanced on the New York Stock Exchange, where 760 million shares traded. Composite volume cleared 3.4 billion.
Treasury prices rallied, with the yield on the 10-year note 10_YEAR -2.48% down 7 basis points to 2.597%. The dollar DXY -1.05% lost ground against other global currencies including the yen USDJPY -0.83% .
Budget agreement spells relief…for now
WSJ's Jerry Seib reports on the vote to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. S&P Chief U.S. Economist Beth Ann Bovino on the potential impact of the next debt ceiling fight. Brendan Conway previews the markets. Photo: Getty Images
Gold futures GCZ3 +2.93% advanced $40.70, or 3.2%, to finish the session at $1,322.3 an ounce and the price of oil CLX3 -1.58% fell $1.62, or 1.6%, to $100.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index fell to 19.8 in October from 22.3 in September, with the gauge positive for a fifth consecutive month.
U.S. jobless claims fell by 15,000 to 358,000 last week from a revised 373,000 the week before, according to a Labor Department report, with the number skewed by the just-ended government shutdown and computer issues that created a backlog in California.
“You really can’t look at economic data yet, because the government’s been shut down for three weeks,” said Orlando at Federated Investors.
Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @MWKateGibson.
Aug 15, 2013
Wall Street at Close Report by MarketWatch August 15, 2013: U.S. stocks slammed; Dow drops over 200 points
U.S. stocks slammed; Dow drops over 200 pointsBy Kate Gibson, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks on Thursday thudded lower for a second day, with the Dow industrials posting their first back-to-back triple-digit drop since June, as Treasury yields spiked to 2011 highs and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. cut their forecasts.
Several upbeat economic reports spurred thinking that the Federal Reserve will begin to scale back its monthly bond buys in September.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -1.47% dropped 225.47 points, or 1.5%, to end at 15,112.19, with Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO -7.17% pacing the drop, off 7.2%. Of the Dow’s 30 components, 28 fell. Wal-Mart’s shares were down 2.6%. Read more on Wal-Mart
The S&P 500 index SPX -1.43% lost 24.07 points, or 1.4%, to 1,661.32, with all its 10 major sectors ending lower; among them, consumer discretionary and technology were slammed the hardest. The Nasdaq Composite COMP -1.72% declined 63.16 points, or 1.7%, to 3,606.12.
Around 721 million shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Composite volume surpassed 3.3 billion.
Ahead of Wall Street’s open, Wal-Mart WMT -2.60% reduced its outlooks for 2013 sales and profit, with the world’s biggest retailer saying consumers are spending less. That warning came the morning after network-equipment maker Cisco Systems CSCO -7.17% offered a less-than-expected revenue outlook.
“Cisco speaks to enterprise and service-provider spending, so that outlook is cloudy. And even more disappointing, if you look at almost two-thirds of the economy is driven by the consumer, and it looks like the consumer took the month of July off,” said Art Hogan, a market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets, noting that Wal-Mart’s results come a day after another retailer, Macy’s Inc. M -0.06% , reported an unexpected drop in sales and cut its full-year profit targets.
The poor performance by retailers last month is also a concern heading into a seasonally important part of the year, as “we don’t want it to extend into back-to-school and holiday spending,” said Hogan.
But the market’s steep fall should also be viewed in the context of the calendar, offered Hogan, who said: “It’s August, and volumes are still dreadfully low. Low volume leads to high volatility.”
Yields on fast track?
Thursday’s economic reports including one showing an improving labor market helped cement the belief that the Federal Reserve would cut monetary stimulus soon.
“Judging by the reaction in bond yields, the overall reaction is positive for the economy and negative for Fed asset purchases,” Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG LLC, wrote in emailed commentary. The 10-year Treasury yield 10_YEAR +1.99% was lately up 4 basis points at 2.763%.
Jobless claims lowest since 2007
Brendan Conway joins the News Hub with a look at today's market action. Photo: Getty Images.
“The continued reduction in the pace of firings to the slowest since the fall of 2007 should point the Fed further into the camp of taper sooner rather than later, and it’s likely why the 10-year yield touched 2.80% immediately after versus 2.71% just yesterday and why the S&P futures are at the low of the morning,” said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group.
Stocks fell and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note surged after economic reports had consumer prices climbing 0.2% in July and the number of Americans filing for new jobless benefits falling by 15,000 to 320,000 last week.
“The 10-year Treasury market has added 120 basis points to its yield since the tapering conversation began on May 22. Is it the notional amount of 2.8% that has us nervous? No, it’s the fact that we added 120 basis points in 45 days. The world doesn’t stop turning with 3% on the 10-year, it’s the pace at which we got there,” said Hogan.
The U.S. dollar DXY -0.70% turned lower against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners, including the euro EURUSD +0.6841% and the yen USDJPY -0.8130%
The price of oil climbed, with futures for September delivery CLU3 +0.28% up 48 cents, or 0.5%, at $107.33 a barrel.
Wal-Mart lowers forecast, reports sales slowed in second quarter.
In other economic news, the New York Fed’s “Empire State” index fell to 8.2 in August from 9.5 in July, worse than expected. And the Federal Reserve reported industrial production held steady in July, while June’s growth was revised lower.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s index of regional manufacturing activity fell in August after hitting a more-than two-year high in July.
Another report had home-builder confidence in August rising to a near eight-year high.
The Dow on Wednesday posted its first triple-digit drop since June as investors fretted over a recent spike in borrowing costs.
Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.
Jun 21, 2013
U.S. stocks edge up Friday, but post weekly losses: Wall Street at Close Report by MarketWatch, June 21, 2013.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks eked out modest gains on Friday, but posted losses for the week, which was dominated by fears that the Federal Reserve may begin pulling back stimulus later this year.
After a very choppy trading session, the S&P 500 index SPX +0.27% gained 4.24 points, or 0.3%, to end at 1,592.43. It fell 2.1% for the week.
Eight of the S&P 500’s 10 major sectors ended higher, with consumer staples leading gainers and information technology leading decliners.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.28% rose 41.08 points, or 0.3%, to 14,799.40, leaving it down 1.8% for the week. This was the Dow’s worst week since the one ended on April 19.
Hewlett-Packard Co. HPQ -2.31% was the top decliner, while Procter & Gamble Co. PG +2.90% was the top gainer in the Dow on Friday.
Bullard weighs in on Fed decision
Bullard weighs in on Fed decision
Paul Vigna and David Wessel discuss comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, and TollGrade CEO Edward Kennedy looks at how best to prevent summer power outages.
The Nasdaq Composite COMP -0.22% fell 7.39 points, or 0.2%, to end at 3,357.25, leaving it with a weekly loss of 1.9%. The tech-heavy index was hurt by a 9.3% drop in shares of Oracle Corp. ORCL -0.02% . The tech bellwether delivered a disappointing quarterly earnings report late Thursday.
More than 2 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Composite volume topped 5.6 billion.
Friday was a quadruple-witching session, meaning expirations for index futures, options on index futures, single-stock futures and stock options. Such sessions can be the most heavily traded days of the year.
Friday’s gains came after The Wall Street Journal suggested that investors may be misreading the Federal Reserve’s message. Jon Hilsenrath, the Journal’s Fed watcher, wrote a blog saying that markets may be overlooking several dovish signals sent by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
U.S. stocks, along with commodities and bonds, fell sharply in the previous two sessions after Bernanke said in a news conference Wednesday that the central bank may scale back its bond buying later this year. While the Fed may do so, Hilsenrath wrote, it will be a long time before the Fed raises short-term interest rates.
The Dow’s slide on Wednesday and Thursday — a drop of 560 points or 3.66% — was its worst two-day drop since the two sessions ended Nov. 1, 2011.
Investors also absorbed remarks from St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard, who explained on Friday why he voted against the Fed decision. Bullard said the Fed’s decision to lay out its plans to taper bond buys was badly timed. The Fed should have waited “for more tangible signs” of economic improvement and a halt in the downward direction for inflation, according to Bullard.
The rise in the 10-year Treasury yield 10_YEAR +0.16% — which surged to 2.53% on Friday, its highest level since August 2011 — is providing a headwind for stocks, according to Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co. He said 2.5% is a key level. “If it breaks through there, I think the market will really have some problems,” he said.
Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs analysts said Friday in a note that their top recommendation for 2013 is still to buy stocks and sell bonds.
“We continue to expect the index will close the year at 1,750, a rise of approximately 10% from today’s level,” the analysts wrote, referring to the S&P 500 index. “However, median historical drawdown episodes suggest at some point during the next six months that the S&P 500 may decline to the mid-1,500s before rebounding to our year-end target.”
Jonathan Krinsky, chief technical strategist at Miller Tabak, also sees potential support for the S&P 500 in the mid-1,500s. “We have just broken the psychological 1,600 level after two prior tests, which now creates short-term resistance in the 1,598 to 1,608 range,” Krinsky wrote in a note.
“There should be downside support in the 1,550-1,575 area, which marked major resistance over the last decade.”
Shares of Facebook Inc. FB +2.64% rose 2.6% after UBS analysts upgraded the social-network company to a buy rating, citing new monetization efforts and higher advertising revenue.
In Asia on Friday, stocks in Shanghai and Hong Kong ended lower, but Japanese stocks advanced. European stocks dropped, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index XX:SXXP -1.16% falling 1.2% to 280.40, its lowest closing level of the year. For the week, the index declined 3.7%.
Gold for August delivery GCQ3 +0.89% rose $5.80 on Friday to close at $1,292 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but posted a weekly loss of $95.60 an ounce.
Crude oil for August delivery CLQ3 -1.25% fell $1.45 to end at $93.69 a barrel on Nymex, leaving it with a weekly loss of $4.38 for the week.
On Thursday, the Dow dived 354 points, or 2.3%, representing its largest one-day percentage decline since Nov. 7, the day after the U.S. election, and its largest one-day points drop since Nov. 9, 2.4011. Gold and oil prices also tumbled, while the dollar and the 10-year Treasury yield jumped.
Polya Lesova is MarketWatch's New York deputy bureau chief. Follow her on Twitter @PolyaLesova. Victor Reklaitis is a New York-based markets writer for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @VicRek.
Jun 7, 2013
U.S. stocks rally on May payrolls growth: Wall Street at Close report by MarketWatch, June 07, 2013.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks jumped on Friday, with the benchmark indexes posting their first weekly gain in three, as May payrolls rose more than forecast, but not so much as to cause worry about the Federal Reserve quickening any plans for monetary tightening.
“All that seems to matter is we nominally met our expectations on employment,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank.
Takeaways from the jobs report
Simon Constable and Ben Casselman discuss a few of the takeaways from the May jobs report.
“Maybe the correction is over, and the wicked witch is dead. But my suspicion is we need to do a little more work at least in consolidating sideways,” he added.
Investors are tracking economic data with more than the economy in mind, as the Federal Reserve is expected to begin cutting its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases once the central bank deems the recovery on sound enough footing to withstand the reduced stimulus.
“I don’t think this [the nonfarm-payrolls report] is going to push them too far one way or the other. The unemployment rate is still above their target, and other than gasoline prices, we’re not seeing much in the way of inflationary forces that would scare them,” said McCain.
Posting a weekly gain of 0.9%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +1.38% advanced 207.50 points, or 1.4%, on Friday to 15,248.12, with Boeing Co. BA +2.74% leading the pack, up 2.7%. Friday’s session is the best performance for the blue-chip index since Jan. 2.
Rising 0.8% from the prior Friday’s finish, the S&P 500 index SPX +1.28% added 20.82 points, or 1.3%, to 1,643.38, with consumer discretionary pacing gains that included nine of its 10 major industry sectors.
The Nasdaq Composite COMP +1.32% climbed 45.16 points, or 1.3%, to 3,469.22, leaving it up 0.4% for the week.
For every share falling just over two gained on the New York Stock Exchange, where 721 million shares traded. Composite volume neared 3.3 billion.
Gold futures GCQ3 -2.44% shed $32.80 to finish at $1,383 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, with the precious metal off 0.7% from last Friday’s close.
The price of oil CLN3 +1.54% climbed $1.27 to settle at $96.03 a barrel, with crude futures up 4.4% for the week.
Treasury prices fell, pushing the yield on the 10-year note 10_YEAR +4.62% used in determining mortgage rates and other consumer loans to 2.175%.
U.S. stock futures reverted from little changed to solid gains after the Labor Department report, which had payrolls climbing 175,000 last month after a revised 149,000 rise in April. The unemployment rate climbed to 7.6% from 7.5% as more Americans stepped into the labor pool.
“The labor market continues to trudge forward at a solid, though unspectacular, pace — not unlike the economy as a whole,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer for Plante Moran Financial Advisors.
The report “does nothing to change the broader view that the Fed is set to steadily reduce its pace of asset purchases at the September meeting and that all else equal, good news should be taken as good news,” wrote Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG LLC, in emailed commentary.
The Fed’s multiple rounds of asset buying, along with record corporate profits, are seen as the primary drivers of the bull market for U.S. equities, now in a fifth year.
Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @MWKateGibson.
Jun 5, 2013
U.S. stocks tumble with jobs report in mind: Wall Street at Close Report by MarketWatch, June 05, 2013.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks tumbled on Wednesday for a second session as data on U.S. private-sector job growth darkened views of the monthly nonfarm-payrolls report to be released in two days.
“More attention is being brought to the economic data, so everyone can play Nostradamus and guess what the Fed’s next move will be,” Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, said of ongoing guessing as to when the Federal Reserve would begin tapering its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.
Stock indexes remained deeply under water after the release of the Fed’s so-called Beige Book, which found the U.S. economy to be still growing at a “modest to moderate” pace.
“In the past few weeks, good news is bad, and bad news is bad, as we started to see talk of the tapering come through,” said Sean Lynch, global investment strategist for Wells Fargo Private Bank.
In its worst session in more than a month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -1.43% lost 216.95 points to 14,960.59, with Intel Corp. INTC -2.60% pacing declines that included all of its 30 components.
The S&P 500 index SPX -1.38% declined 22.48 points to 1,608.90, with materials and financials leading losses that included all of its 10 major industry groups. Read a blog: S&P 500 sinks 4% from May highs
A Dell Inc. DELL +0.07% board panel found Carl Icahn’s takeover bid to be short due to an estimated $3.9 billion funding deficit necessary to pay a proposed dividend and operate the PC maker.
Apple Inc. AAPL -0.93% shares shed 0.9% after the International Trade Commission found the iPhone maker infringed on a Samsung Electronics Co. patent, with Apple facing a possible import ban on some products.
General Motors Co. GM -2.69% fell 2.7% after the U.S. Treasury said it would sell 30 million more shares of the car manufacturer’s common stock.
The Nasdaq Composite COMP -1.27% fell 43.78 points to 3,401.48.
For every share rising, four fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 738 million shares traded. Composite volume approached 3.6 billion.
Gold GCQ3 +0.37% and oil CLN3 +0.44% prices rose; the U.S. dollar DXY -0.27% declined and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note (TICKER:10_YEAR) used in determining mortgage rates and other consumer loans fell to 2.087%.
U.S. companies created 135,000 jobs in May, according to ADP Employer Services.
“The market is in the midst of a bit of a correction, so the bias is lower anyway. But with the ADP report being as underwhelming as it was, there is an increasing loss of enthusiasm for equities at the moment,” said Janney Montgomery Scott’s Luschini.
FactSet Enlarge Image
Revised government figures showed productivity rising 0.5% in the January-to-March period, and hourly compensation falling 3.8%. Wednesday’s data came ahead of Friday’s nonfarm-payrolls report, and added credence to the view that a soft labor market would extend the time frame before the Federal Reserve begins tapering its bond purchases.
“The market is playing wait-and-see with Friday’s numbers, but certainly the ADP number that came out showed there is probably moderate downside risk to that May employment number,” said Lynch at Wells Fargo Private Bank.
Another report, this one from the Institute for Supply Management, found a slight acceleration in service-sector activity in May.
Also Wednesday, the Commerce Department reported orders for goods made by U.S. factories rose 1% in April.
A 20-Tuesday-long win streak for the Dow industrials was derailed, with the index falling 76.49 points, or 0.5%, to end at 15,177.54. Fears over when the Federal Reserve will begin to pull back on its bond-buying program weighed on sentiment.
On Tuesday, Fed Bank of Kansas City President Esther George advocated for the Fed to pare back its bond-buying program, and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher stepped up his criticism of the Fed’s easy-money program.
Strategists at Credit Suisse said Wednesday that they see 15% more upside for stocks. They lifted their S&P 500 year-end target to 1,730 from 1,640 and introduced a new target of 1,900 for the end of 2014. The strategists gave five reasons for staying overweight in equities, including an overly pessimistic view on when the Fed will curb its bond-buying program. Read more on Credit Suisse's equity call.
Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.
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