Closing Update: Stocks Drift Through Session, Ending Near Session Lows As Economic Data Fails to Inspire

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Stocks ended mixed Thursday, with shares of companies in the Dow Jones Industrials and the S&P 500 backing away from their record highs yesterday while technology stocks posted moderate gains to lift the Nasdaq Composite to a small advance. Upbeat economic data failed to generate much of a response, with traders again unsure how good news will influence policy-makers at the Federal Reserve. Gold and other metals rallied on continued dollar weakness but crude oil fell while shares of energy and mining companies also retreated.

Initial jobless claims were the first datapoint out of the gate this morning, rising a smaller-than-expected 15,000 new claims to 309,000, compared with consensus estimates looking for 341,000 in first-time applications for unemployment benefits.

The current account deficit narrowed nearly 7% to $98.9 billion, the Commerce Department reported, also coming in well below Street estimates for a $103.8 billion deficit.

Additional economic markers reported today all pointed to signs of a robust economy. Existing-home sales during August rose to a 5.48 million annualized pace, beating estimates of a 5.255 million in yearly sales. Business activity measured by the Philadelphia Fed region improved significantly with the regional business index shooting to a 22.3 reading in September from a 9.3 score the month prior and breezing past estimates for a 10.0 reading. Finally, leading economic indicators rose a slightly better than expected 0.6% during August.

Crude oil for October delivery fell $1.68 to settle at $106.39 per barrel. October natural gas added a penny to finish at $3.72 per 1 million BTU. December gold extended its rally to a second day, with the December contract climbing $61.60 to $1,369.40 per ounce while December silver rose $1.73 to $23.92 per ounce. December copper added 7 cents to settle at $3.35 per pound.

Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 40.39 (-0.26%) to 15,636.55

S&P 500 down 3.18 (-0.18%) to 1,722.34

Nasdaq Composite Index up 5.74 (+0.15%) to 3,789.38

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index up 1.67%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.29%

FTSE 100 Index Up 1.01%

UPSIDE MOVERS:

(+) RAD, Drugstore chain reports Q2 profit due to sales growth and margin improvement; it also raised its FY13 guidance to a new range of $0.18 to $0.27 per share.

(+) GRPN, Stifel Nicolaus upgrades the daily-deal company to Buy from Hold.

(+) TSLA, The electric car-maker stock climbs to a record high after Deutsche Bank boosts its price target for the stock.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) CAG, Reports a 42% drop in FYQ1 earnings to $0.34 per share

(-) FSC, Prices public offering of 15.5 million shares at $10.31 apiece for total gross proceeds of $159.8 million.

(-) ROYT, Offers 13.5 million trust units at $17.10 each.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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