July 22, 2024

Markets Slightly Higher Despite Services Data

The Institute for Supply Management reported that business growth slowed at service providers in the United States in June. Financial companies and health care providers reported the weakest results. The I.S.M. report followed a broad sell-off in Europe and another interest rate increase in China.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 38 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,607. The Standard Poor’s 500 index gained 1 point, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,338. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite added 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,832.

DuPont rose 2 percent, the most of any stock in the Dow, followed by Intel and 3M.

Some investors were surprised that stock indexes did not add to Tuesday’s modest declines following the weak economic report. Dorsey Farr, a co-founder of the Atlanta investment advisory French Wolf Farr, said attractive stock prices in technology and pharmaceutical companies helped the market rebound.

Financial companies fell sharply after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Portugal’s debt late Tuesday. That raised fresh concerns about the strength of the European financial system and investment bank’s exposure to possible bond defaults. The Euro Stoxx 50, an index of companies in countries that use the euro, fell nearly 1 percent. Bank of America lost 2.2 percent. JPMorgan Chase dropped 1.5 percent.

China also raised a key interest rate for the third time this year in an effort to curb inflation. Many American companies have focused on the country as a source of profit growth and are hoping that interest rate increases there will not lead to an economic slump.

On Wall Street, General Motors gained nearly 2 percent after analysts upgraded the stock. The Walgreen Company rose 1 percent after the retailer said its June sales were higher than anticipated.

Trading was light during the holiday-shortened week as investors looked ahead to Friday’s employment report. Economists expect that the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in June, unchanged from the month before.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=d6208f9046746fa882d956e8c4842bee

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