Stocks finished lower Wednesday, with the S&P 500 extending
its losing streak to a fifth session as worries about the ability
of Congress to avoid a government shutdown or a default on the
nation's debt limit dominated trader attitudes. Investors largely
shrugged off mixed economic data today on durable goods orders and
new home sales, with quarter-end window dressing likely amplifying
the selling bias. Most sectors in the S&P 500 closed with
losses, although financial stocks held on to a 0.55 advance as a
group. Materials stocks also rose as metals climbed in commodities
Stocks briefly turned higher near mid-day although the major
averages began drifting lower following a Bloomberg News report
that Dow component Wal-Mart (
) was cutting orders amid rising inventories. A WMT spokesman later
refuted the report in comments to a CNBC reporter, lifting the
stock off its session low, but the downward slide for the retail
giant - and the markets in general - proved too tough to brake.
The Commerce Department said orders for good expected to last
three year or more rose 0.1% during August, reversing an 8.1%
decline in the prior month and benefiting from a significant gain
in transportation orders. Excluding transportation, durable goods
slid 0.1%, trailing the market consensus looking for a 1.0%
New home sales increased by an annual rate of 421,000 in August,
the Census Bureau reported today, falling slightly below estimates
expecting a 425,000 gain. July home sales also were revised 4,000
lower to 390,000. In another sign, the housing market is starting
to slow as interest rates rise was the supply of new homes
increasing to 5.2 months from only 4.3 months in July.
Crude oil for November delivery settled 47 cents lower at
$102.64 while October natural gas added 6 cents to finish at $3.55
per 1 million BTU. December gold climbed 19.40 to settle at
$1,336.10 per ounce while December silver rose 32 cents at $21.90
per ounce. December copper rose a penny to settle at $3.27 per
Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 61.33 (-0.40%) to
S&P 500 down 4.65 (-0.27%) to 1,692.77
Nasdaq Composite Index down 7.16 (-0.19%) to 3,761.10
Hang Seng Index up 0.13%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.41%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.30%
(+) MAKO, Robotic surgery company accepts $30 per share buyout
offer from Stryker (
). Deal has total value of around $1.65 billion.
(+) PACB, Enters deal worth as much as $75 million with Roche
) to develop in-vitro diagnostic products, including
gene-sequencing systems and products.
(+) ANW, The supplier of refined marine fuel signs agreement for
$1 billion in new revolving credit facilities.
(-) JCP, The retailer fell to a 12 year low amid reports it is
looking for additional financing in order to stay in business.
(-) CCL, Shares of the cruise-line company run aground after
getting hit with a rash of analyst downgrades after the company
yesterday lowered its Q4 EPS forecast.
(-) AIR, Airline supplier reports 6.5% year-over-year drop in Q1
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