MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 04/05/12
Saturday, 05 May 2012 | 00:27
DJ30 PointChange: -168.32 Level: 13038.27 NASDAQ PointChange: -67.96 Level: 2956.34 NQ100 PercentChange: -2.5 R2K PercentChange: -1.8 SP400 PercentChange: -1.6 SP500 PointChange: -22.47 Level: 1369.1 NASDAQ-Adv:501 Dec: 2017 NYSE-Adv:733 Dec: 2282
[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks were up nicely a few days ago, but fell in the last three sessions to finish the week at a low point, giving the S&P 500 a 2.4% weekly loss -its worst weekly performance of the year. The sell-off on Friday followed a disappointing jobs report and concerted selling of the market's most influential sectors.
Premarket participants initially had only a modestly negative response to the April payrolls report, which inidcated that nonfarm jobs increased by 115,000 and nonfarm private payrolls increased by 130,000. However, both came short of Briefing.com consensus estimates for increases of 162,000 and 167,000, respectively. The headline unemployment rate of 8.1% was slightly less than the 8.2% that had been broadly anticipated, though.
A flurry of selling sank stocks upon the open. The effort gradually gained momentum into early afternoon trade, leaving stocks to drift along session lows for the final few hours of the day. Weakness was widespread, but Energy and Tech stocks were hit the hardest. Both settled with losses in excess of 2%. Financials fell 1.6%.
Utilities stocks made gains in the face of broad market weakness. The defensive-oriented sector's 0.2% gain was helped along by a few better-than-expected earnings reports from industry players -- the latest round of earnings results was generally uninspiring, however.
An interest in safety prompted some to rotate into the dollar, which advanced 0.3% against a basket of major forein currencies today. It gained about 1.0% for the week.
Treasuries also traded higher. In turn, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Note fell to a three-month low of less than 1.90%.
Precious metals attracted buyers, gaining their only gain of the week. Losses in previous sessions ultimately led gold and silver to finish the week 1.2% lower at $1645.40 per ounce and 3.1% lower at $31.42 per ounce, respectively.
Elsewhere in the commodity complex, crude oil prices were cut down aggressively. The energy component closed pit trade at a new three-month low of $98.49 per barrel with a 6.1% loss for the week. Broad market weakness amid macro concerns and reports that oil production in Iraq is expected to pick up exacerbated selling pressure.
Although it was learned yesterday that initial weekly jobless claims fell more than expected from the prior week to 365,000, market participants were given a clue on Wednesday that April private payrolls might not have been as strong as economists had predicted when the latest ADP Employment Report suggested that nonfarm private payrolls increased by only 119,000, contrasting with calls for an increase of 170,000.
Other data failed to provide an entirely positive picture, given that the ISM Manufacturing Index made surprise improvement to 54.8 from 53.4 in the prior month, but the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell from 56.0 in the prior month to 53.5 for April, missing expectations for a print of 55.5. China reported a Manufacturing PMI reading of 53.3, which is its best reading in about one year, but it is still less than what had been widely expected. Most of Europe also reported disappointing Manufacturing PMI readings this week.
Personal spending increased by 0.3% during March, but that's a slower clip than the 0.5% increase that had been expected, on average, among economists polled by Briefing.com. The smaller-than-expected increase came despite a stronger-than-expected pickup in personal income, which increased by 0.4% when a 0.2% increase had been widely anticipated. As for core personal consumption expenditures (PCE), they increased by 0.2% month over month, as had been broadly expected.
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