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
S&P 500 down 3.18 (-0.18%) to 1,722.34
Nasdaq Composite Index up 5.74 (+0.15%) to 3,789.38
Hang Seng Index up 1.67%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.29%
FTSE 100 Index Up 1.01%
(+) 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
(+) TSLA, The electric car-maker stock climbs to a record high
after Deutsche Bank boosts its price target for the stock.
(-) CAG, Reports a 42% drop in FYQ1 earnings to $0.34 per
(-) 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.