Stocks continue to lose altitude Friday and were trading at new
lows for the year as Wall Street is unnerved by interest-rate
speculation and deteriorating conditions in the Middle East along
with banking woes in Portugal and fall-out from Russian sanctions.
A small pop in the futures market this morning following a
below-consensus gain in non-farm payrolls coupled with a small gain
in the jobless rate evaporated soon after the open as selling
pressure that started yesterday continues to plague equities.
Today's deluge of economic data kicked off with a 209,000 gain
in July non-farm payrolls and a small increase in the jobless rate
to 6.2% from 6.1% in June. Although the gain in payrolls was less
than the 230,000 the street expected, it was the sixth consecutive
month employers hired more than 200,000 new workers. Also, the
increase in the jobless rate was attributed to a corresponding gain
in the participation rate, reflecting more people rejoining the
workforce to look for jobs.
Personal income and spending were both up 0.4% in June, meeting
expectations. While the increase was modest, it underscored the
improved consumer environment and contributed to forecasts for a
2.5% growth rate in Q3.
The Markit purchasing managers index in the U.S. fell to 55.8 in
July, below the consensus for a decline to just 56.0 from 56.3
initially, and from 57.3 in June. However, the Institute for Supply
Management manufacturing index rose to 57.1 in July from 55.3 the
month prior, beating estimate for a gain to just 56.0.
Consumer confidence also improved as the Reuters/University of
Michigan consumer sentiment index showed a modest revision to July
from 81.3 initially to 81.8.
Finally, construction spending plummeted 1.8% in June, missing
the consensus for a 0.5% gain.
European markets haven't fared any better after PMIs from across
the globe underscored the still sluggish global economy.
Exacerbated by underlying worries of how Russian sanctions will
impact the European economy, and the freefall in Portugal's Banco
Espirito Santo tainting the European banking sector, Europe's
bourses all closed with steep losses.
Crude oil was down $0.86 to $97.28 per barrel. Natural gas was
up $0.02 to $3.86 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $12.10 to
$1,295.10 an ounce, while silver was down $0.01 to $20.40 an ounce.
Copper was down $0.01 to $3.22 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.73% to
$36.05 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 0.47% to
$21.20. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold
Miners ETF was down 0.08% to 25.93 while SPDR Gold Shares was up
0.91% to $124.50. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.20% to
Here's where the U.S. markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index down 67.50 (-0.63%) to 10,658.92
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 94.24 (-0.57%) to
S&P 500 down 10.08 (-0.52%) to 1,920.59
Nasdaq Composite Index down 34.19 (-0.78%) to 4,335.58
Nikkei 225 Index down 0.63%
Hang Seng Index down 0.91%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.74%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.76%
CAC 40 down 1.02%
DAX down 2.10%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.61%
NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.90%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.43%
(+) BYI (+29.51%) Agreed to be bought by Scientific Games (
) for $5.1 billion.
(+) MBLY (+52.28%) Well- received IPO of 35 million shares
priced at $25.
(+) LNKD (+10.41%) Reported better than expected Q2 results and
(-) BOTA (-24.61%) Flu drug LANI doesn't achieve desired
reduction in symptoms.
(-) YRCW (-22.61%) Posts wider than expected Q2 loss, revenue in
line with estimates.
(-) KEYW (-15.04%) Reports wider Q2 loss, beats on revenue.
(-) JIVE (-14.14%) Downgraded to Neutral by Credit Suisse on
downward revision to billings.
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