MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 15/05/12
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 | 00:10
DJ30 PointChange: -63.35 Level: 12632 NASDAQ PointChange: -8.82 Level: 2893.76 NQ100 PercentChange: -0.4 R2K PercentChange: -0.2 SP400 PercentChange: -0.4 SP500 PointChange: -7.69 Level: 1330.66 NASDAQ-Adv:1131 Dec: 1387 NYSE-Adv:1041 Dec: 1968
[BRIEFING.COM] Tech had attempted to provide the broad market with a positive source of leadership today, but instead the stock market fell to its eighth loss in 10 sessions as participants remained focused on the problems of the eurozone.
Word that first quarter economic growth in Germany exceeded expectations had quelled concerns about the precarious eurozone region and resulted in gains by Europe's major bourses, but sentiment soured when market participants were reminded of the persistent problems in the eurozone periphery. Specifically, headlines indicative of continued political impasse in Greece revived worries about what that could mean for the country's austerity plans. Greece returned to focus later in the day as financial media detailed the outflow of deposits among Greece's banks.
A relatively underwhelming dose of domestic data failed to instill confidence among market participants. Both overall retail sales and retail sales less autos increased during April by 0.1%. Economists polled by Briefing.com had expected both to increase by 0.2%.
There were no surprises to the latest Consumer Price Index. Overall CPI was flat from the prior month, while core CPI increased by 0.2%.
The Empire State Manufacturing Index for May surprised many, however. It improved to 17.1 from 6.6 in the prior month to exceed the 8.4 that many economists had expected.
Stocks struggled to sustain an early bid amid eurozone worries, but an advance by Tech helped lift the Nasdaq to a nice gain and put the S&P 500 in positive territory. However, Tech's strength proved unsustainable in the face of a broad market downturn in afternoon trade. Tech stocks collectively shed 0.5%.
Even Consumer Discretionary stocks suffered a 0.2% loss after the sector had been up about 1% at its session high. Although home improvement retailer Home Depot (HD 48.67, -1.21) lagged in the wake of its latest quarterly report, TJX Co's (TJX 42.45, +2.75) managed to maintain most of its gain following its latest earnings announcement.
Energy received an early bid, but eventually the sector succumbed to the efforts of sellers, who dropped it to a 2012 low and a 1.5% loss. Energy's action came in close connection to that of crude oil, which chopped around the unchanged line in early morning action, but fell as low as $93.77 per barrel before settling with a 0.8% loss at a 2012 closing low of $93.97 per barrel.
The afternoon slide among stocks sent both the Dow and S&P 500 to their lowest level in little more than three months. The Nasdaq set a three-month low by only an incremental margin.
Despite the slip, Treasuries saw only limited support. As such, the 10-year Note settled near the neutral line, but that kept its yield a few basis points below 1.80%.
Buying interest in the greenback grew as trade progressed. By the close the dollar was up about 0.8% against a basket of major foreign currencies. The Dollar Index is now at its highest level since January.
Advancing Sectors: None
Declining Sectors: Utilities -0.1%, Consumer Discretionary -0.2%, Telecom -0.4%, Tech -0.5%, Health Care -0.5%, Financials -0.6%, Utilities -0.6%, Industrials -0.6%, Materials -1.5%, Energy -1.5%
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