Stocks gave back slim opening gains Monday, halting a six-day
winning streak as Wall Street pauses after a string of record highs
for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrials Average. Despite
a brief pop higher following better than expected production and
housing data, U.S. equities were in the red with ongoing
geo-political pressure, rising energy prices and weak European
markets encouraging cautious trade.
The first round of economic data this week beat expectations and
showed continued strength in the housing and manufacturing sectors
of the economy. The Chicago Fed index measuring national economic
activity and related inflationary pressures rose 0.21 in May,
reversing a 0.32 decline for the index during the prior month.
The Markit manufacturing flash index for June edged higher to
57.5 from 56.4 in May, beating estimates of 56.5, and hitting a
4-year high. The components of the index, including output and
employment rose as well in June from month earlier levels.
Also, the National Association of Realtors today reported a 4.9%
increase in sales of existing homes to a seasonally adjusted annual
pace of 4.89 million. The street was expecting a smaller gain of
1.9% to 4.75 million units. In addition, April was revised upward
to 4.66 million from 4.65 million prior.
Markets today also were dominated by merger news, with Oracle (
) offering $5 billion for Micros System (
) and Wisconsin Energy (
) buying Integrys Energy (
) for $5.8 billion. Other deals include PLX Technology (
) receiving a $6.50-per- share from Avago Technologies (AVGO), and
General Electric (GE) moving another step closer in its bid to
acquire Alstom's (ALSMY) power and grid businesses, with the French
company's board unanimously approving GE's offer.
European equities all ended Monday lower after bearish EU-zone
manufacturing data overshadowed a gain in the Chinese production
index. UK stocks were also undermined by hawkish comments from two
Bank of England members endorsing higher interest rates.
Crude oil was down $0.73 to $106.10 per barrel. Natural gas was
down $0.07 to $4.47 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $0.90 to
$1,317.50 an ounce, while silver was down $0.06 to $20.93 an ounce.
Copper was up $0.03 to $3.14 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.53% to
$39.11 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 2.14% to
24.74. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners
ETF was up 1.39% to 26.22 while SPDR Gold Shares was up 0.21% to
$126.77. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.13% to $20.06.
Here's where the U.S. markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index down 18.53 (-0.17%) to 10,999.58
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 30.77 (-0.18%) to 16916.31
S&P 500 down 1.81 (-0.09%) to 1,961.06
Nasdaq Composite Index down 2.28 (-0.05%) to 4,365.76
Nikkei 225 Index up 0.13%
Hang Seng Index down 1.68%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.11%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.36%
CAC 40 down 0.57%
DAX down 0.66%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index down 2.18%
NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.12%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.37%
(+) TEG (+13.13%) To be bought by Wisconsin Energy (
) for $9.1 billion.
(+) NSPH (+16.06%) Selected by HealthTrust as a provider of
multi-target molecular-diagnostic tests .
(+) PLXT (+9.09%) To be bought by Avago (AVGO) for
(-) PRKR (-59.13%) Judge rules in favour of Qualcomm (QCOM) in
Patent infringement case .
(-) AMD (-3.54%) Downgraded to Underperform at Pacific
(-) MTOR (-12.20%) Entered a settlement agreement with power
management company Eaton Corporation plc.