Stocks drifted between gains and losses this morning as
investors digest a bevy of key economic data points and a Federal
This morning, the Labor Department reported that GDP increased by
1.7% in the second quarter. This was well above the median
economist estimate of 1%, but still below the long-term average.
Comparing today's report to previous headlines is misleading,
however, since the Labor Department made benchmark revisions of GDP
going all the way back to 1929 to include research and development
as a business investment and also count artistic goods as a part of
ADP, the payroll processor, reported that US private sector
companies added 200,000 jobs, beating economists' expectations by
20,000. This is a good, but usually unreliable preview for this
Friday's jobs report, where a net gain of 185,000 new jobs is
Before the opening bell, major US indices pointed to a lower open.
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were down 0.11% to 15,476 while futures
contracts on the
(INDEXSP:.INX) sank 0.04% to 1,684.00 and
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures ticked up 0.01% to 3,085.75.
At 2:00 p.m. today, the Federal Reserve will make an announcement
following its policy meeting. Fed watchers don't expect any changes
to interest rates or asset purchases this time around.
European stocks are mixed after a report showed that eurozone
unemployment fell for the first time in two years. In June, the
total number of jobless people decreased by 24,000. This wasn't
enough to dent the 12.1% unemployment rate, but it could signal
that the region might have already found the bottom. Youth
unemployment, however, rose to 23.9% from 23.8% in May. Spain's
under-25s were worst off with 56.1% unemployment. Eurostat also
released July inflation, which stayed at the same 1.6% annual pace
Japanese equities dove, with the
(INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) sinking 1.45%. Japan's PMI manufacturing index
came in much lower than expected in July. The index printed 50.7,
just barely over the 50 threshold that indicates growth in the
sector. Economists expected it to rise to 52.5 from 52.3 in June.
Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has made his largest investment
ever, a $22 billion stake in
Air Products & Chemicals
). After the investment was reported on CNBC, shares jumped 4.63%.
Ackman is currently under pressure since his massive short of
) from last fall has so far worked against him.
) posted a 21% rise in profit, beating expectations as more
consumers used credit cards to make transactions. Revenue rose 15%
to $2.10 billion and net income rose to $848 million or $6.96 per
share, beating expectations by $0.66.
), the local business ratings company, reports earnings after the
bell today. Analysts expect Yelp to narrow its loss from $0.22 per
share to $0.03 as it continues to grow revenues. The San
Francisco-based company's valuation has risen 122% so far this