Market performance is mixed today, coming off the holiday break.
Chain stores have been trimming guidance after a disappointing
June, with many reporting lower year over year growth than the
previous month, marking the third straight month of annual growth
declines. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index also slipped, going
to -37.5 from -36.1 the prior period. The non-manufacturing report
showed more of the same -- reasonable growth but a decrease from
the previous period. The composite index stood at 52.1, off a prior
level of 53.7 and short of consensus estimates of 53.0.
The Mortgage Bankers' Association (
) had some good news. While the refinancing index remained steady
at a loss of 8% week over week, the composite index went to -6.7%
from 7.1% last week. The purchase index also showed a marked
increase. It went from -1.0% the previous week to 1.0%.
There was also good news on the jobs front. Challenger's layoff
count for June is just 37,511. This represents a significant
decrease from the 61,887 reported in May. It is also much lower
than the 41,432 from June last year. ADP's private payroll count
was encouraging as well. Actual levels came in at 176,000, topping
the analyst consensus of 95,000 and surpassing the consensus range
of 60,000 to 167,000 completely. The current ADP payroll count also
beat out the prior level of 133,000.
Lower petroleum import levels and decreased domestic production
pushed crude oil, gasoline and distillate inventories lower. Crude
oil dropped 4.3M barrels, down from a decrease of 0.1M barrels last
week. Gasoline showed an increase of 0.2M, but this was
significantly lower than the 2.1M barrels reported last week.
Distillates slipped 1.1M barrels, less than the 2.3M barrel loss
posted last week, but a decrease all the same.
On the European front, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced
a 25 basis cut in the refi rate to 0.75%. It marks the third
reduction in the central bank's benchmark rate since Mario Draghi
took over as ECB President last November. The Bank of England took
a different route, voting instead for another Stg50 billion round
of asset purchases, thereby raising the QE bar to some Stg375
billion. There was no change in Bank Rate which remains at the 0.5%
level to which it was cut back in March 2009.
Together the news combined to make for mixed market performance
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 23.99 (-0.19%) at
The S&P 500 is down 3.34 (-0.24%) at 1,370.68.
The NASDAQ Composite is up 6.07 (+0.20%) at 2,982.15.
In Europe, the markets were also mixed. The FTSE 100 index is up
8.55 (+0.15%) to 5693.20. The DAX is down 0.48% (-31.36) to
6,533.80 and the CAC 40 is at 3,226.13, down 1.3% (-41.62).
Crude oil prices are at $87.50 a barrel, down 0.16. Natural gas
is up 0.7 cents to $2.918 per 1 million BTU. Gold is down 13.8 to
$1,608 an ounce, while silver is down 0.503 to $27.740 an ounce.
Copper is down 0.05 to $3.49 a pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (
) is down 0.06% to $32.92 with the United States Natural Gas (
) fund is up 1.4% to $19.85. Among precious-metal funds, the Market
Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GMI) is down 0.83% to $46.15 while SPDR
Gold Shares (
) are down 0.86% to $156.11. The iShares Silver Trust (
) is down 1.93% to $26.95.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index down 0.61% (-48.42) to 7,853.25
Dow Jones Industrial Index down 0.14% (-18.39) to 12,925.43
S&P 500 down 0.31% (-4.29) to 1,369.51
Nasdaq Composite Index up 0.05% (+1.54) to 2,977.88
Nikkei 225 down 0.27% (-24.37) to 9,079.80
Hang Seng Index up 0.50% +99.38) to 19,809.13
Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.17% (-25.96) to
FTSE 100 is up 0.21% (+12.00) to 5,696.05
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index down 1.13% (-135.64) to 11,966.78
NYSE Financial Sector Index down 1.36% (-61.41) to 4,466.41
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.57% (-43.40) to 7,452.72
YELP (+8.1%) Reports that Apple Inc (AAPL) is planning to
integrate the customer reviews website's services into the new maps
application in the latest version of its operating system.
TJX (+4%, hit new year highs) Announced June 2012 sales of $2.3
billion, up 9% over the $2.1 billion from June 2011. For the full
year, the company raised its EPS guidance to $2.31 - $2.39.
YNDX (+2.9%) BoA Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to Buy from
HUSA (-15.7%) Announced test results on the C-9 sand in the
Cachirre #1 well. HUSA reported that while the well had heavy oil
shows (6.0 to 6.8 gravity), the Cachirre #1 well was unable to
produce oil during swab tests and, as a result, will be plugged and
abandoned. After plugs are set, the drilling rig will move to the
Zorro Gris well location to begin drilling operations on the next
well on CPO 4.
AMBO (-13.4%, near year lows) Reported late Wednesday that net
loss for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012 was $12.7 mln, or
$0.14 per share. In the same period last year, the company had a
net income of $2 mln.
VIP (-4.3%) Complied with Russian law in its efforts to control
Russia's third-leading mobile operator, Vimpelcom (VIP), according
to Reuters. Telenor boosted its voting stake in Vimpelcom to 36.36%
in mid-February, taking back partial control of the company from
Altimo, the telecom's arm of Mikhail Fridman's Alfa-Group, with
which it has fought a years-long corporate battle.