MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 24/05/12
Friday, 25 May 2012 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: +33.60 Level: 12529.75 NASDAQ PointChange: -10.74 Level: 2839.38 NQ100 PercentChange: -0.6 R2K PercentChange: +0.2 SP400 PercentChange: +0.3 SP500 PointChange: +1.82 Level: 1320.68 NASDAQ-Adv:1298 Dec: 1228 NYSE-Adv:1759 Dec: 1252
[BRIEFING.COM] Hampered by Tech stocks, the Nasdaq was unable to join its counterparts in positive territory for modest gains following a late lift that came in the face of a weak euro.
The euro fell to a new 52-week low of about $1.25 today. It had actually made an upward move this morning to lead the greenback by a narrow margin amid a speech by European Central Bank President Draghi, calls by eurozone officials for contingency plans pertaining to Greece’s possible departure from the eurozone, and chatter about coordinated central bank actions regarding swap lines. Before long, though, the euro resumed its downtrend so that it trailed the dollar by about 0.4% by the closing bell.
Economic data from Europe featured disappointing Flash Manufacturing readings from France, Germany, and the broader eurozone. China also reported a disappointing Manufacturing PMI reading. Domestic data featured underwhelming durable goods orders data and an unsurprising weekly initial jobless claims count.
Durable goods orders increased by 0.2% during April, but orders less transportation items declined by 0.6%. Economists polled by Briefing.com had expected, on average, that overall orders would increase by 0.3%, while orders less transportation would increase by 1.0%. Prior month data was revised to reflect a 3.7% decline in overall orders and a 0.8% decline in orders less transportation items.
The latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 370,000, which is on par with the 365,000 initial claims that had been widely forecasted, and consistent with the 372,000 initial claims filed in the prior week.
Domestic data seemed to matter little to market participants, as did the latest round of earnings reports, which was headlined by Hewlett-Packard (HPQ 21.77, +0.69). Shares of HPQ scored their best single-session percentage gain in more than a month following the firm’s upside earnings surprise.
The rest of the Tech space underperformed, hurting the Tech-rich Nasdaq. In fact, the Tech sector’s 0.9% loss made for the weakest performance of any major sector. Energy stocks and Industrials stocks, both of which declined just 0.1%, made up the only other sectors to suffer losses.
Materials stocks made another impressive swing higher, as they did in the prior session. The sector overcame an afternoon loss to settle with a 0.8% gain. That was almost as strong as the 0.9% gain staged by Consumer Staples, which spent the entire session in positive territory as defensive-oriented issues held up relatively well throughout trade.
Despite general weakness during afternoon trade and steady pressure on the euro, stocks managed to stage a late squeeze higher. The effort slowed as the S&P 500 came in contact with the flat line, but the broad market was able to regroup and push into positive territory and come away with a narrow gain.
Advancing Sectors: Financials +0.1%, Consumer Discretionary +0.5%, Telecom +0.6%, Utilities +0.6%, Health Care +0.8%, Materials +0.8%, Consumer Staples +0.9%
Declining Sectors: Idustrials -0.1%, Energy -0.1%, Tech