September 26, 2017

Markets Slump Despite Some Positive Reports

Markets drifted on Thursday amid mixed economic and corporate news around the world and as investors paused to reflect after Wall Street’s failure to make new highs.

In afternoon trading, the Standard Poor’s 500-share index was 0.2 percent higher, the Dow Jones industrial average was unchanged and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.6 percent.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares ended the day down 0.5 percent even after official figures showed that the British economy grew by a quarterly 0.6 percent in the second quarter, its fastest rate in nearly two years. Germany’s DAX was down 1 percent despite the closely watched Ifo index pointing to solid growth in Europe’s economy. The CAC 40 in France was 0.2 percent lower.

United States economic figures failed to move the markets much, with a bigger-than-expected 4.2 percent surge in durable goods orders in June downplayed because it was largely a result of elevated aircraft sales. And a 7,000 increase in weekly jobless claims was more or less in line with expectations.

The latest run of corporate earnings around the world also failed to excite. Though a number of companies like Facebook have impressed, investors have not shown much willingness to push markets higher on the back of corporate earnings. Among the latest releases, Facebook (shares up 27 percent on Thursday) and General Motors (shares down 0.9 percent) impressed, but the German chemical company BASF (United States-traded shares down 3.1 percent) disappointed.

Some results “are being used as an opportunity to sell at the current highs, creating another opportunity to buy the dips,” said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari.

China’s weak manufacturing figures from Wednesday continued to weigh on sentiment in Asia. China’s slowdown is in large part self-induced. Its leaders are trying to shift the basis of China’s growth away from reliance on exports and industrial investment in favor of consumption, which they hope will be more self-sustaining. That means large stimulus is unlikely.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average shed 1.1 percent, to 14,562.93 points, with the camera maker Canon plunging 5.4 percent after it lowered its full-year profit and sales outlook on Wednesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent, at 21,900.96 points, and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.6 percent, to 2,021.17.

Currency markets were fairly lackluster, with the euro 0.2 percent higher, at $1.3230, and the dollar down 0.6 percent, at 99.59 yen.

The latest bout of selling of oil ground to a halt and the benchmark New York rate was 31 cents higher, at $105.70 a barrel.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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