Benchmarks eked out gains during Wednesday's trading session
following mixed domestic economic reports. Meanwhile, Euro zone's
distressed economy received a ray of hope after the Purchase
Manager's Index (PMI) grew month over month. Of the top ten
S&P 500 industry groups, technology stocks gained the most.
Utilities sector suffered maximum losses.
For a look at the issues facing today's markets, read our
Ahead of Wall Street for July 5
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.4% to close
the day at 14,988.55. The S&P 500 increased 0.1% to finish
Wednesday's trading session at 1,615.41. The tech-laden Nasdaq
Composite Index rose 0.3% to end at 3,443.67. The fear-gauge CBOE
Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 1.5% to settle at 16.20.
Consolidated volumes on the New York Stock Exchange, American
Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were roughly 3.37 billion shares, well
below 2013's average of 6.4 billion shares. Declining stocks
outnumbered the advancers. For the 58% that declined, 39%
Wednesday's shortened trading session witnessed volatility
after a bunch of mixed domestic economic reports were released.
The Bloomberg Consumer Confidence Index, initial claims data and
ADP employment report all provided positive news. However, below
than expected ISM services numbers dampened investor
According to the U.S. Department of Labor number of Americans
filings for unemployment benefits dropped by 5,000 to 343,000.
This figure came in above the consensus estimate and previous
month's figure of 348,000. On a 4-week moving average basis, the
figure dropped by 750 to 345,500. Another job report showed an
increase in employment in the private sector. According to the
ADP Research Institute, a total of 188,000 people were added in
the private sector. Of the 188,000, 84,000 were employed by small
businesses while 55,000 and 49,000 were employed in medium
business and large business, respectively.
Another factor which boosted investor sentiment was the
Bloomberg Consumer Confidence Index. The index increased to -27.5
from -28.3 recorded in the previous week. This figure is also the
highest level attained since January 2008. Consumer confidence is
gaining ground on the back of an improving employment scenario
and home valuations. These factors are also responsible for an
increase in demand for automobiles and housing. The barometer for
measuring buying climate index increased to -34.9 from -37.4. The
index measuring Americans take on the current economic situation
dropped for the second week to 51.9 from 51.3.
Among other encouraging news, figures of auto sales for the
month of June came in above the Street's expectations. June auto
sales came in at 15.9 million, above the consensus estimate of
15.5 million. Sales growth for companies like Ford Motor Company
) and General Motors Company (NYSE:
) also beat estimates, growing by13% and 6.5%, respectively.
According to data released by Institute for Supply Management,
Non-Manufacturing ISM for June 2013 came in at 52.2, below the
consensus estimate of 53.7. The non-manufacturing business
activity index and new orders index declined to 51.7% and 50.8%
from previous month's figures of 56.5% and 56.0%, respectively.
Although the 14 components have either declined or remain flat,
the index has increased over on a year-on-year basis.
On the international front, recession-ridden Euro Zone may
finally be seeing a ray hope. Markit's final Composite Eurozone
Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 48.7 for the month of
June. Although the index is below the 50-mark, on a month over
month basis the index has increased by 1 point. According to PMI
data, the economy has contracted by 0.2% from April through June.
Germany managed to avoid a huge decline in PMI but Spain and
Italy witnessed the largest declines.
On the other hand, rising political instability in Portugal
may add to investor woes. Resignation of top two ministers
in Portugal triggered a sell-off in bonds, resulted in a sharp
increase in 10-year borrowing costs to 8.1%,
Among the top ten S&P 500 industry groups technology
stocks were the biggest gainers. The Technology SPDR (XLK) gained
0.6%. Stocks such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:
), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:
), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:
), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:
) and Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:
) gained 0.6%, 0.2%, 0.2%, 0.5% and 0.9%, respectively.
Utility stocks suffered maximum losses. Shares of Utilities
SPDR (XLU) lost 0.2%. Stocks such as the Southern Company (NYSE:
), Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE:
), TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:
), NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:
) and Sempra Energy (NYSE:
) lost 0.5%, 0.1%, 0.8%, 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively.
APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
ADOBE SYSTEMS (ADBE): Free Stock Analysis
DOMINION RES VA (D): Free Stock Analysis
FORD MOTOR CO (F): Free Stock Analysis Report
GENERAL MOTORS (GM): Free Stock Analysis
GOOGLE INC-CL A (GOOG): Free Stock Analysis
INTEL CORP (INTC): Free Stock Analysis Report
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis
NEXTERA ENERGY (NEE): Free Stock Analysis
SOUTHERN CO (SO): Free Stock Analysis Report
SEMPRA ENERGY (SRE): Free Stock Analysis
TECO ENERGY (TE): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.