Retail Sales in the U.S. rose for the third straight month,
showing that the economy remains on solid, if not spectacular,
footing. Wall Street traders yawned at the data, however, and the
market was largely unchanged.
The Dow traded lower on the session, closing below the 14,000
level while the S&P and Nasdaq Composite recorded small
gains. Overall, the investing atmosphere remains relatively
quiet, which has led to an upwardly sloping market and low levels
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 36 points, or 0.26
percent, to 13,983.
The S&P 500 added a little less than a point, or 0.06
percent, to 1,520.
The Nasdaq Composite closed the day with a gain of roughly 10
points, or 0.33 percent, to 3,197.
Retail sales were in line with estimates for January with
sales rising 0.1 percent versus a 0.5 percent increase for
Excluding autos, retail sales were up 0.2 percent in January
versus a 0.3 percent gain in December. This was above consensus
which called for growth of 0.1 percent.
Business inventories rose 0.1 percent in December after
increasing 0.2 percent in November. This was below consensus
estimates calling for an increase to 0.3 percent.
Crude oil was mixed on Wednesday's session. NYMEX crude
futures, which track U.S. WTI benchmark crude, fell 0.45 percent
to $97.08. Brent contracts were last trading up 0.13 percent to
$118.72. Natural gas futures climbed better than 2 percent on the
day to $3.30.
Precious metals were down moderately at last check. COMEX gold
futures had shed 0.40 percent to $1,643 at last check and silver
was down by around 0.64 percent to $30.82. Copper was down a
little more than 0.10 percent.
In the agricultural complex, corn was slightly lower while
wheat was up around 0.50 percent. Orange juice concentrate
futures added to a rally on Tuesday, and were last up 1.37
percent. Coffee and cotton fell a little over 1 percent on the
U.S. Treasury prices fell sharply on Wednesday. Late in the
day, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:
) was down 0.80 percent to $115.81.
The fall in prices pushed yields higher. The 2-Year yield rose
one basis point to 0.27 percent. The 5, 10, and 30-Year Treasury
yields were all up 4 basis points.
The U.S. dollar was flat on the day with the PowerShares DB US
Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:
) unchanged late in the day. The security tracks the performance
of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies.
The EUR/USD was trading close to flat at the close of equity
trading at $1.3449. The USD/JPY was also near unchanged after
falling on Tuesday. The only significant mover on the day was the
GBP/USD which fell around 0.90 percent.
Volatility and Volume
The VIX rose on Wednesday despite a largely flat trading
session. The VIX closed 3.80 percent higher at 13.12, near the
Volume remained very light on Wednesday but was above the
first two days of the trading week. Around 71 million SPDR
S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:
) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 133
), which operates a real estate search engine company, surged 26
percent on the day after bullish Q4 earnings results.
Hosting company Rackspace (NYSE:
) saw its share price plunge almost 20 percent after
disappointing Q4 results.
Cliffs Natural (NYSE:
) fell 20 percent after missing Q4 revenue estimates, cutting its
dividend and announcing a share offering.
Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:
) shed more than 5 percent after its fourth-quarter results
missed Wall Street consensus estimates.
Proto Labs (NYSE:
) climbed more than 25 percent after blowout Q4 results.
) plunged almost 16 percent after its fourth-quarter results came
in below expectations.
EZchip Semiconductor (NASDAQ:
) actually gapped higher at the open after its Q4 earnings
report, but subsequently plunged throughout the day, closing down
more than 20 percent.
WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:
) climbed almost 11 percent despite a lower Q4 profit and
full-year 2013 earnings per share guidance that was below
Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:
) plunged more than 9 percent on Wednesday as traders took
profits after a big run-up in the share price last week.
Dean Foods (NYSE:
) fell more than 9 percent despite swinging to a profit for the
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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