December 14, 2017

Wall Street Posts Worst Week Since June With Fed in Mind

All but one of the 10 SP 500 sector indexes ended lower.

The stock of J.C. Penney Co. skidded 5.8 percent to $12.87 and ranked as the SP 500’s biggest percentage decliner. Bill Ackman, the company’s top investor, urged the retailer’s board on Friday to replace its chairman.

Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, reiterated late Thursday that the central bank will probably begin cutting back on its massive bond-buying stimulus next month, as long as economic data continues to improve.

The lack of clarity over the Fed’s plans gave investors reason to pull a record $3.27 billion out of U.S.-based funds that hold Treasuries in the latest week ended August 7, data from Thomson Reuters’ Lipper service showed on Thursday.

“People are looking ahead to the September FOMC meeting and the prospect that the Fed begins its long-awaited exit strategy,” said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial, in Westport, Connecticut.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 72.81 points, or 0.47 percent, to end at 15,425.51. The Standard Poor’s 500 Index declined 6.06 points, or 0.36 percent, to 1,691.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 9.02 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 3,660.11.

For the week, stocks posted their biggest declines since mid-June. The Dow fell 1.5 percent, snapping a six-week string of gains. The SP 500 dropped 1.1 percent for the week and the Nasdaq slid 0.8 percent.

A week ago, both the Dow and the SP 500 ended at record closing highs.

Stocks extended losses late in the session. President Barack Obama said he will make a decision on the nomination for the Federal Reserve chairman in the fall. Fed Chairman Bernanke is expected to step down when his second four-year term ends on January 31.

Bernanke rattled markets in late May by saying the Fed would begin to ease back on its stimulus program once the economy shows some improvement.

While many investors are concerned that economic growth will stall without the Fed’s help, stock prices have been supported by some strong earnings and encouraging data overseas.

The SP 500 is up 18.6 percent for the year so far.

In China, industrial output rose more than expected, adding to a string of data that indicated the economy may be stabilizing after an extended period of tepid growth.

U.S. economic data showed wholesale inventories unexpectedly fell 0.2 percent in June, marking a second straight month of declines, versus expectations calling for a gain of 0.4 percent.

U.S.-listed shares of BlackBerry Ltd jumped 5.7 percent to $9.76 after Reuters reported that the Canadian smartphone maker was warming to the idea of going private, citing sources familiar with the situation.

Priceline.com Inc, rose 3.9 percent to $969.89 a day after the online travel company reported earnings that beat expectations and gave a strong outlook. Some analysts speculate the stock’s price will cross $1,000 soon, which would be a first for a Standard Poor’s 500 stock.

Earnings season is winding down, with 446 companies in the SP 500 having already reported. Of those, 68 percent have exceeded analysts’ expectations, slightly above the 67 percent beat rate over the past four quarters, Thomson Reuters data showed.

Volume was roughly 5.3 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, below the average daily closing volume of about 6.36 billion this year.

Decliners slightly outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a ratio of about 15 to 14. On the Nasdaq, about three stocks fell for every two that rose.

(Editing by Nick Zieminski and Jan Paschal)

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/08/09/business/09reuters-markets-stocks.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Dow Hits 2nd New High, Helped by Jobless Report

The stock market rose slightly on Thursday, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average to a new nominal high after it surpassed its previous peak two days ago. The gains came after a new report provided evidence that hiring was picking up.

The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 7,000 last week, driving the four-week average to its lowest point in five years. The drop in new jobless claims is a positive sign ahead of Friday’s employment report.

The Dow industrials rose 33.25 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,329.49. The Standard Poor’s 500-stock index gained 2.80 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,544.26. Both indexes rose for the fifth consecutive day.

The S. P. 500 is closing in on its own high close of 1,565.15, which was reached on Oct. 9, 2007, the same day as the Dow’s previous peak. The S. P. 500 would need to rise 20.89 points, or 1.4 percent, to set a nominal record, though both indexes are still far below their peaks if inflation is taken into account.

Investors have been buying stocks on optimism that employers are slowly starting to hire again and that the housing market is recovering. Growing company earnings are also encouraging investors to enter the market. The Dow is 9.4 percent higher so far this year and the S. P. 500 is up 8.3 percent.

“If you have a multiyear time horizon, equities are an attractive asset, but don’t be surprised to see some volatility, especially after the big run we’ve had,” said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at the RDM Financial Group.

The Nasdaq composite index advanced 9.72 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,232.09. It is up 7 percent this year, but it is well below its high of more than 5,000, reached during the dot-com boom in 2000.

Boeing helped lead the Dow higher on Thursday, advancing $1.97, or 2.5 percent, to $81.05 after reports that American regulators were poised to approve a plan within days to permit the company to begin test flights of its 787 Dreamliner jet. The 787 fleet has been grounded since Jan. 16 because of safety concerns about the plane’s batteries.

Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James, predicted that any sell-off in stocks might be short-lived as investors who have missed out on the rally since the start of the year jump into the market.

“The rally is going to go higher than most people think,” Mr. Saut said. “This thing has caught most money managers flat-footed.”

The stock market’s rally this year has been helped in no small part by continuing economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve, which is buying $85 billion each month in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. That has kept interest rates near historical lows, reducing borrowing costs and encouraging investors to move money out of conservative investments like bonds and into stocks.

On Thursday, however, interest rates moved higher in the bond market. The price of the 10-year Treasury note fell 16/32, to 100 2/32, while its yield rose to 2 percent from 1.94 percent late on Wednesday.

Among the stocks making big moves, PetSmart fell $4.37, or 6.6 percent, to $62.18 after the company reported its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. Profits for the pet store chain rose, but its forecast for this year disappointed investors.

Pier 1 Imports fell 96 cents to $22.28 after the company issued an earnings forecast that was below Wall Street analysts’ estimates.

The supermarket chain Kroger rose 89 cents, or 3 percent, to $30.25 after the company’s fourth-quarter profit handily beat Wall Street expectations.

Gap rose $1.41, or 4.1 percent, to $35.87 after it said a crucial revenue measure rose more than expected in February, helped by sales at its Gap and Old Navy stores.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/08/business/economy/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss