Stocks trimmed earlier losses but finished mostly lower
Thursday, after comments this morning by the European Central Bank
president unnerved traders and sent them in pursuit of less risky
Gold, the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen all benefited early
from today's risk averse mood, with only consumer staples and
utility stocks - traditionally both defensive plays - the lone
industry sectors to finish the day higher. Technology shares had
the steepest declines today.
In remarks to reporters after the central bank left its
benchmark borrowing rates unchange, ECB President Mario Draghi said
the exchange rate between the euro and other currencies was
important to growth and price stability, which many investors took
as a sign the ECB may step to weaken its currency in following the
euro's advance in recent days.
Closer to home, the economic news was mildly downbeat but
appears to have had only limited impact on today's selloff. The
Labor Department today said initial jobless claims came in at
366,000 for the week ended Feb. 2, down slightly from the prior
week but was 6,000 higher than the expert consensus.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported today the nation's
business productivity dropped below economists' expectations,
falling 2% during the final three months of 2012.
Crude oil for March delivery settled 80 cents lower at $95.84
per barrel. March natural gas fell 13 cents to finish at $3.29 per
1 million BTU. April gold reversed course near its late-day
settlement, closing down $7.20 to $1,671.40 per ounce while March
silver fell 45 cents to $31.40 per ounce. March copper fell 1 cent
to $3.73 per pound.
Here's where the markets stood at the end of regular
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 43.39 (-0.31%) to
S&P 500 down 2.82 (-0.19%) to 1,509.30
Nasdaq Composite Index down 3.35 (-0.11%) to 3,165.13
Hang Seng Index down 0.34%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.66%
FTSE 100 Index down 1.06%
(+) DV Upgraded by analysts at JPMorgan Chase to Neutral from
Underweight after the for-profit educator handily beat Street
estimates with its fiscal Q2 results.
(+) OXGN, Said its Zybrestat drug candidate when combined with
Avastin continues to be well tolerated in patients with ovarian
cancer during a second Phase II interim toxicity study.
(+) CBM, Q4 earnings of $0.24 per share crush the analyst
consensus expecting a $0.13 profit in the biotech's December
(+) MCP (+2.91%) Upgraded to Neutral from Underweight by
analysts at JPMorgan Chase. The firm raised its price target on the
stock to $6 from $5.
(+) MMS (+5.01%, below new 52-week high) Reported Q1 earnings of
$0.63 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus
of $0.56. Revenues were $286.3 million, versus the analyst estimate
of $285.01 million.
(-) AKAM Reported Q4 sales of $378 million, below estimates of
$381.3 million. Earnings of $0.54 topped estimates by $0.04. The
company also extended its $150 million share buyback program to
(-) RTIX, Q4 EPS of $0.04 in-line with forecasts. Revenue grows
about 4% to $44.6 million but misses analyst estimates by $510,000.
Issues downside Q1, FY13 guidance.
(-) GMCR, Q1 earnings of $0.76 per share beat estimates by $0.11
but the maker of the Keurig single-cup coffee system is forecasting
Q2 sales growth of 14% to 18% - somewhat below what the Street has
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