(In an earlier version of this story it was stated that FRX was
up 23.4%, shy of year highs. It is up 3.4% and shy of year highs.
The 2 figure in 23.4% should have been the opening of a
After yesterday's wild fluctuations that saw the Dow swing from
an all-time high, up 150 points, to an almost triple-digit loss at
the close, it was always going to be interesting to see how the
market fared today. Early on, selling in U.S. stocks picked up
where it left off, at least partly due to weak economic numbers in
Europe and China. By midday, however, all three major U.S. equity
indexes had recovered some losses, although they remain modestly in
the red - as investors and traders digested more of the domestic
The futures market pointed a sharply lower opening for U.S.
equities, as market participants weighed jobless claims and housing
data that were better than expectations against an unexpected
contraction of Chinese manufacturing activity. Also weighing on
global sentiment was a whopping 7.32% plunge in Japan's Nikkei
Stateside, data released pre-bell showed that the number of
people who applied last week for unemployment benefits fell by
23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 340,000. Economists polled by
MarketWatch expected new claims to decline to 343,000 from a
revised 363,000 in the prior week.
News on the housing front was good as well. Single-family home
sales for April weighed in at 454,000, +2.3%, trumping analyst
expectations of 430,000. That was the second best showing for new
home sales since the beginning of the recession. In addition, the
FHFA housing price index showed that March home prices climbed
On a down note, HSBC reported that the flash version of its
Purchasing Managers' Index for May fell to a seven-month low of
49.6, down from April's final reading of 50.4. Analysts had
forecast the PMI would remain at 50.4.
News out of China set the stage for a global sell-off, as that
country's PMI unexpectedly showed a contraction. The preliminary
reading of 49.6 for a Purchasing Managers' Index by HSBC Holdings
Plc and Markit Economics compares with a final 50.4 for April. The
number was also below the 50.4 median estimate in a Bloomberg News
survey of 13 analysts. A reading below 50 indicates
Overseas, Japanese equities tumbled, suffering their biggest
one-day loss in more than two years. The other Asian indexes closed
lower, while European markets were all lower by about 2.5% in
Commodities were mixed at midday. Oil was down $1.28 per barrel
at $93.00, while natural gas continued to trade with strength, up
$0.017 at $4.203 per million BTUs.
Gold was up $11.90 per ounce at $1,379.30, while silver was
dipping $0.227 at $22.245. Copper was up $0.093 at $3.2875.
Here's where the markets stood at mid-day:
NYSE Composite down 55.64 (-0.58%) to 9,452.40
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 5.73 (-0.04%) to 15,301.44
S&P 500 down 5.51 (-0.33%) to 1,649.84
Nasdaq Composite Index down 5.65 (-0.16%) to 3,457.65
Nikkei 225 Index down 7.32%.
Hang Seng Index down 2.54%.
Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.15%.
FTSE 100 down 2.4%.
DAX down 2.64%.
CAC 40 down 2.57%.
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index (^NYE) down 57.88 (-0.43%) at
NYSE Financial Sector Index (^NYK) down 66.41 (-1.13%) to
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index (^NYP) down 51.82 (-0.55%) to
(+) LPS (+12.3%, hits new 52-week top) Stock jumps to new
52-week zenith of $33.40 amid media reports that the company is in
talks with Fidelity National Financial (
) and Thomas H. Lee Partners, which are interested in acquiring
Lender Processing. The deal is supposedly worth about $2.9 billion
and would value Lender Processing shares at around $33 per
(+) RUE (+22.7%, hits new 52-week high) Issue surges too new
52-week high of $41.98 after company reported that it had signed a
deal under which Apax Partners will purchase all outstanding RUE
shares for $42 per share in cash, a transaction valued at $1.1
(+) FRX (+23.4%, shy of year highs) Shares rise after the
company says Howard Solomon will retire as CEO and president
effective December 31, 2013.
(-) AERL (-8.9%) Shares tumble after gaming company reported Q1
net income declined 17% to $15.3 million, or $0.36 per share
compared to income of $18.4 million, or $0.43 per share for Q1
2012. The company maintains its non-GAAP income guidance for the
year ended December31, 2013 of $60 million to $75 million.
(-) TCL (-6.6%, hit new 52-week low) Stock plunges to new
52-week low of $6.92--the sixth consecutive day the stock is lower
with a total loss of 18% since May 16th. On May 15th, the company
said it would apply to the SEC to de-list its ADRs at the end of
the month due to the lack of volume and liquidity. The de-listing
of Tata's ADRs was encouraged by a new Indian rule that requires
all listed private companies to have at least a 25% public
shareholding by the end of June. The stock is expected to be
removed from the NYSE on or around June 10th.
(-) ATE (-5.7%) Issue slips after the rout in the Nikkei last
night. The Japanese company manufactures and sells semiconductor
and component test system products.
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