Stocks were moderately higher on Thursday a day after a
sell-off took the Dow Jones Industrial Average down triple
Currency markets were also very active, with a massive move
taking place in the USD/JPY after the Bank of Japan announced it
will purchase longer-term government bonds as part of a its
The USD/JPY climbed better than 3 percent on the day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56 points, or 0.38
percent, to 14,606.
The S&P 500 added better than 6 points, or 0.40 percent,
The Nasdaq was the laggard on the day, but still eked out a 6
point, or 0.20 percent, gain to close at 3,225.
Initial claims moved higher for the week ending March 30 to
385,000 compared to 357,000 for the week ending March 23. This
was well above consensus expectations calling for a decline to
Continuing claims fell to 3.063 million for the week ending
March 23. This compared to 3.071 million for the week ending
March 16. This was slightly above consensus estimates of 3.050
Crude oil was lower on Thursday's trading session. Near the
close of equities, NYMEX crude futures had lost 1.32 percent to
$93.20. Brent crude contracts were last down 0.77 percent to
$106.33. Natural gas rose a little better than 1 percent on the
day to $3.94.
Precious metals were basically unchanged on the day. At last
check, COMEX gold futures had fallen 0.01 percent to $1,553.40
while silver futures were up 0.03 percent to $26.85.
Bond prices moved sharply higher on Thursday. Near the close
of equity trading, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond
) was up 1.11 percent to $120.31. Yields fell as prices rose.
The 2-Year Note yield was unchanged at 0.22 percent while the
yield on the 5-Year Note fell four basis points to 0.69
The yield on the 10-Year Note slipped five basis points to
1.76 percent and the 30-Year Bond yield fell seven basis points
to 2.99 percent.
The U.S. dollar opened higher on Thursday but fell throughout
the day. At last check, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index
Bullish ETF (NYSE:
), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket
of foreign currencies, had lost 0.09 percent to $22.50.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading up 0.73
percent to $1.2937. The Japanese Yen plunged around 3.33 percent
against the greenback on Thursday after the Bank of Japan said
that it will buy longer-term government bonds as part of an asset
Volatility and Volume
A day after rising sharply, the VIX fell slightly on Thursday.
The widely watched barometer of market fear declined 0.84 percent
Volume was a little lighter than normal on the session with
around 109 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:
) shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 123
Best Buy (NYSE:
) was trading up around 16 percent heading into the close after
the company announced a plan to install mini Samsung boutiques
within its stores.
Shares of retailer Conn's (NASDAQ:
) climbed better than 13 percent a day after the company released
strong fiscal fourth-quarter financial results and a better than
Online auction operator Liquidity Services (NASDAQ:
) jumped better than 11 percent after the company announced an
increase of 18 percent in its March sales.
) fell around 10 percent on Thursday after the company said that
it had to restate its financial results for 2010, 2011 and the
first three quarters of last year.
NII Holdings (NASDAQ:
) fell around 10 percent on the session a day after the stock
surged as much as 25 percent on a report that the company could
sell a business unit to Chilean phone company Entel for $500
) lost more than 7 percent on Thursday, although the reason for
the move was not immediately clear.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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