Mid-Day Update: Strong Jobs Data and Lower Import/Export Prices Overshadowed By Low Q2 Results, Global Economy


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U.S. stocks are still trending down today, making this the longest lasting slump for them in almost two months. The decrease is reflected in the Bloomberg Consumer Confidence Index, which held at 37.5, and is fueled by a rash of corporate earnings reports that missed consensus estimates and concerns over a global economic slowdown. There are worries over Spain, Italy and China in particular. Even the IMF is assuming an Italian recession in 2012 and 2013 followed by slow growth until 2017.

Investor worry over these issues has completely overshadowed positive U.S. economic reports. New jobless claims came in at just 350,000, down from 374,000 the previous period and well under the consensus of 375,000 (range 355,000 to 395,000). The decrease brought the 4-week moving average down to 376,500 from 385,750 the previous period.

Import and export prices also showed a strong decline, indicating little to no inflationary pressures on pricing. Export prices are down 1.7% month over month and 2.1% year over year, a heavy improvement from -0.4% and -0.1% respectively. Import prices declined even further. They are at minus 2.7% month over month and minus 2.6% year over year, compared to -1.0% and -0.3% respectively.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 64.03 (-0.50%) at 12,541.48.

The NASDAQ Composite was down 38.63 (-1.34%) at 2,849.26.

The S&P 500 was down 11.78 (-0.88%) at 1,329.77.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index was down 54.16 (-0.96%) to 5,609.83. The DAX was down 37.57 (-0.58%) to 6,418.35 and the CAC 40 was down 22.77 (-0.72%) to 3,134.46.

Crude oil prices were at $84.80 a barrel, falling up to 2%. Natural gas was down 9.2 cents to $2.745 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down to around $1,559.50 an ounce, while silver was down to around $26.805 an ounce. Copper was down to $3.41 a pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund ( USO ) is down 1.3% to $31.90 while the United States Natural Gas ( UNG ) fund is down nearly 1%. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GMI) has hit year lows while SPDR Gold Shares ( GLD ) are down 0.7% to $153.95. The iShares Silver Trust ( SLV ) is up 0.7%.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:

NYSE Composite Index down 0.98% (-75.56) to 7,609.81

Dow Jones Industrial Index down 0.47% (-59.79) to 12,544.74

S&P 500 down 0.78% (-10.65) to 1,330.80

Nasdaq Composite Index up 1.25% (-36.56) to 2,851.41


Nikkei 225 down 1.48% (-130.99) to 8,720.01

Hang Seng Index down 2.03% (-394.76) to 19,025.11

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.46% (+10.11) to 2,185.49

FTSE 100 is down 0.89% (-50.49) to 5,613.99


NYSE Energy Sector Index down 1.1% (-128.48) to 11,593.93

NYSE Financial Sector Index down 1.3% (-56.74) to 4,345.52

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.12% (-9.07) to 7,395.02


CPRX (+26.8%) Announced that it expects topline data from its CPP-109 Phase II(b) clinical trial for the treatment of cocaine addiction to be released earlier than expected. The results will be released at the end of September versus the prior guidance of early in Q1 of 2013.

CERP (+20%) Entered into a distribution agreement with Hamburg, Germany-based ALBIS PLASTIC GMBH to supply Cereplast bioplastic resins to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

PG (+4.3%) Activist value investor Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management may acquire a considerable stake in the consumer company, which cut its forecast three times in the past year.


SVU (-45.7%, hits year lows) Reported Q1 earnings of $0.19 per share, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.38. Revenues were $10.6 bln, versus the analyst estimate of $10.81 bln.

DVR (-37.3%) Expects Q2 EBITDA to be below the current consensus street estimate of $12.9 mln.

TI (-6.5%) Bloomberg reports a bearish outlook on the company's Latin American revenue growth.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: GLD , SLV , UNG , USO

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