The U.S. stock market fell for the second day on Thursday
after a report on Wednesday showed that the U.S. economy
contracted in the fourth-quarter. Investors are primarily focused
on quarterly earnings reports from corporations, but a series of
mixed economic reports are also commanding attention.
In other news, the Justice Department sued to block the
proposed acquisition of Grupo Modelo, the maker of Corona beer,
by Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:
). A number of stocks were active in the wake of the antitrust
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost around 46 points, or
0.33 percent, to close at 13,865.
The S&P 500 fell a little less than 4 points, or 0.25
percent, to close at 1,498.
The Nasdaq Composite was essentially flat on the day at
Among the economic data that was on the slate for Thursday was
initial and continuing claims for the week ending January 26.
Initial claims increased to 368,000 versus 330,000 for the week
ending January 19. This was above consensus estimates of
Continuing claims increased from an upwardly revised 3.175
million in the week ending January 12 to 3.198 million for the
week ending January 19. This was slightly below consensus
estimates predicting an increase to 3.200 million.
Personal Income and Spending
Personal income rose in in December, adding 2.6 percent after
rising 1 percent in November. This was well ahead of consensus
estimates calling for an increase of 0.7 percent.
Personal spending rose, but came in below consensus. Personal
spending was up 0.2 percent for December after increasing 0.4
percent in November. This compared to estimates calling for a 0.3
Manufacturing activity in the Chicago area was up sharply to
55.6 in January versus an upwardly revised 50.0 in December. The
reading was the strongest since April 2012 and easily beat
consensus estimates of 50.5.
Crude oil was mixed on Thursday. NYMEX crude contracts, the
U.S. benchmark, fell 0.48 percent to $97.47. Brent futures were
last trading up around 0.61 percent to $115.60 as the WTI/Brent
spread tightened. Natural gas was trading around the flat-line at
$3.34 at last check.
COMEX gold futures were trading down more than 1 percent late
in the day to $1,663. Silver contracts had lost more than 2.30
percent to $31.43.
In the agricultural complex, corn was close to unchanged while
CBOT wheat fell around 1 percent. Most of the grains and soft
commodities traded in a 1 percent range around the unchanged line
Late in the equity trading session, the iShares Barclays 20+
Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:
) was up around 0.50 percent to $117.33. The rise in bond prices
drove yields lower.
Yields were lower by one basis point in the 2-Year, 10-Year
and 30-Year Bond on the day. The 5-Year Note yield was unchanged
at 0.88 percent.
The U.S. dollar was lower again on Thursday with the
PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:
) trading around 0.14 percent lower to $21.61 late in the
The closely watched EUR/USD was close to unchanged at $1.3574.
The greenback was around 0.26 percent higher against the Yen to
91.3800. Other notable movers included the GBP/USD which was up
0.40 percent and the USD/CAD which was down around 0.44
Volatility and Volume
Volatility expectations remain low, but the VIX finished green
once again on Thursday, rising 0.14 percent to 14.34.
Volume remained noticeably light despite earnings season. Only
around 93 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:
) shares traded hands on the session compared to a 3-month daily
average of 137 million.
Shares of WMS Industries (NYSE:
) soared 51 percent after the company agreed to be acquired by
Scientific Games (NASDAQ:
Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:
) jumped almost 7 percent after releasing its quarterly earnings
Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:
) surged more than 11 percent after its earnings results.
Constellation Brands (NYSE:
) lost more than 17 percent after the Justice Department sued to
block the acquisition of Grupo Modelo by InBev (NYSE:
). Constellation had been slated to purchase the remaining 50
percent of Crown Imports it does not own from Grupo Modelo as
part of the transaction. InBev lost almost 6 percent on the news
of the antitrust lawsuit.
Pitney Bowes (NYSE:
) climbed almost 21 percent after reporting strong earnings.
Liquidity Services (NASDAQ:
) lost more than 23 percent of its value after the company
reported a lower first-quarter profit and cut its full-year
Under Armour (NYSE:
) climbed almost 6 percent after releasing its fourth-quarter
Mead Jonson (NYSE:
) traded up almost 12 percent reporting fourth-quarter earnings
that were up 57 percent.
Research in Motion lost around 6 percent on Thursday as the
stock continues to fall in the wake of the company's release of
) jumped more than 22 percent after releasing strong quarterly
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