Stocks climbed off their worst levels of the day but the U.S.
markets finished Thursday with steep declines after bearish
manufacturing data out of the world's two largest economy sparked a
selloff for equities. Mixed earnings performance also contributed
to the downbeat attitudes, with all 10 of the industry sectors in
the S&P 500 ending in the red although mostly positive earnings
news and a fresh round of deal-making nearly lifted shares of
technology firms back to positive ground.
Economic data at home and from abroad was mixed, with an index
of U.S. purchasing managers showed a modest contraction in activity
to a 53.7 reading in January, trailing the market consensus looking
for a 55.0 reading this month. Existing home sales and first-time
jobless claims data were largely in line with expectations.
Technology stocks enjoyed a late rally, lifting the sector to
within 0.3% of its break-even mark for the day, led by Netflix (
) rising to a record close after late yesterday posting
better-than-expected earnings results and a strong outlook for
future quarters. IBM also lent some sector support, squeezing out a
moderate gain, after striking a $2.3 billion deal for its
struggling low-end server division with Lenovo.
Gold took advantage of the market uncertainty today, with the
February contract rising $24 to $1,262.50 per ounce while March
silver added 17 cents to settle at $20.01 per ounce. March copper
slid 5 cents to finish at $3.29 per pound.
Hydrocarbons had a volatile session Thursday, with March crude
oil rising 53 cents to settle at $97.25 per barrel after a small
rise in inventories last week. Analysts had been expecting a drop
in crude stocks. The February natural gas contract flirted with the
$4 mark earlier today only to finish at $4.73 per 1 million BTU, up
4 cents, as another bout of Arctic weather hit large portions of
the United States.
Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 175.99 (-1.07%) to
S&P 500 down 16.39 (-0.89%) to 1,828.47
Nasdaq Composite Index down 24.13 (-0.57%) to 4,218.87
Hang Seng Index down 1.51%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.47%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.78%
(+) SILC, Earns $0.94 per share $25.4 mln in revenue, beating
the Street view looking for EPS of $0.56 on $18.42 mln in
(+) JFBI, Agrees to $8-a-share buyout offer from HomeTrust
Bancshares Inc. (
(+) FFIV, Earns $1.22 per share in Q1, ex items, beating
estimates by $0.03. Revenue climbs 11.2% over same quarter last
year to $406.5 mln, topping the Capital IQ consensus by $10.07 mln.
Also, Janney Capital upgrade to Buy from Neutral.
(-) HRC, Q1 earnings, revenue trail analyst projections. The
company also lowers its FY14 outlook.
(-) CBLI, Scraps talks over plans to further develop Entolimod
as a medical radiation countermeasure.
(-) ACAT, Fiscal Q3 earnings fall short of estimates, trims FY14
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