DJ30 PointChange: +155.53 Level: 12651.91 NASDAQ PointChange: +17.72 Level: 2836.33 NQ100 PercentChange: +0.5 R2K PercentChange: +1.3 SP400 PercentChange: +0.8 SP500 PointChange: +14.22 Level: 1329.1 NASDAQ-Adv:1732 Dec: 736 NYSE-Adv:2144 Dec: 900
stock market continued its recent string of daily swings today as the
S&P 500 scored a gain of about 1% after starting the session near
the neutral line. Despite its effort, the S&P 500 enters Friday only
a few points above where it began the week.
Broad market stock futures traded in a relatively narrow range near
the neutral line this morning. Market participants appeared cautious as
Europe’s major bourses moved lower following another downgrade of
Spain's debt the night before. Also at work was an increase in weekly
initial jobless claims to 386,000 from 380,000 when a tally of 375,000
initial claims had been expected, on average, among economists polled by
Briefing.com. However, sentiment seemed to strengthen on hopes that
underwhelming data might compel the Fed to implement another round of
quantitative easing when they meet next week.
While producer price data released yesterday was somewhat out of sync
with what had been forecasted, consumer price data released today
didn’t necessarily support the case against accommodative action by the
Fed. Overall consumer prices declined during May by 0.3%, while core
prices increased by 0.2%. Economists polled by Briefing.com had
expected, on average, a decline in overall prices of 0.2%, but an
increase in core prices of 0.1%.
Current deficit data was given less attention. For the first quarter
it totaled $137.3 billion, which is greater than the $130.9 billion
deficit that had been broadly anticipated.
Although trade was generally lackluster in the early going, buyers
began to step in with a bid. Strong gains held into the afternoon, but
support started to wane shortly before the final hour. The drift lower
was reversed when stocks spiked to session highs in response to reports
that central banks are preparing for a coordinated effort, if necessary,
after political elections are held in Greece this coming weekend. Trade
turned whippy in the wake of that headline, but the broad market still
booked a gain on the order of 1%.
Although the tone of trade would suggest that participants might be
more willing to take on risk, defensive-oriented Telecom scored the
strongest gain of any major sector. It settled nearly 2% higher for the
day. However, mobile handset maker Nokia (NOK 2.35, -0.44) saw its shares slump to new multi-year lows in response to a pessimistic profitability forecast.
In other corporate news, Credit Suisse (CS 17.97,
-1.87) shares were cut down to multi-year lows for concerns that the
firm will move to raise new capital at the urging of officials.
Kroger (KR 22.58, +1.29) was one of few companies to
report quarterly results this morning. The company posted an upside
earnings surprise and issued strong guidance, helping its shares
outperform in the latest round of action.
Energy stocks were also strong. The sector’s 1.7% gain came amid
higher oil and natural gas prices. Crude oil scored a gain of about 1.6%
by finishing pit trade at $83.85 per barrel amid a modestly weaker
dollar and OPEC’s decision to keep its daily oil production ceiling
unchanged at 30 million barrels. A bullish inventory report helped
natural gas prices rally to $2.50 per MMBtu for a 14.7% gain.
Tech stocks lagged for virtually the entire session. The sector’s
0.3% gain was less than what any other sector managed today. Its
relative weakness hampered the Nasdaq.
The dollar traded higher overnight, but pulled back early this
morning. Still, it managed to limit its loss as the euro muddled along
with only a narrow gain before bouncing at the end of the day. As of the
closing bell the euro was up 0.5% against the greenback.
Tech +0.3%, Materials +0.7%, Utilities +0.8%, Industrials +0.9%,
Consumer Staples +1.3%, Financials +1.3%, Health Care +1.4%, Consumer
Discretionary +1.4%, Energy +1.7%, Telecom +1.9%
Declining Sectors: None