U.S. Markets Droop as Jobless Claims Counter Increase in Personal Income

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U.S. stocks edged lower Thursday mid-day under the weight of higher-than-expected jobless claims for the week ended January 26. News that personal income soared in December did little to boost trading activity. Despite a down market, the Dow and S&P 500 are flirting with all-time highs last reached in October 2007.

The U.S. Labor Department reported that jobless claims rose to 368,000, above economists' forecast of 355,000. In the week ended Jan. 26, 38,000 people filed for unemployment benefits, taking the number to the 368,000 previously quoted, which is a one-month high. The average of new claims over the past month, meanwhile, edged up by 250 to 352,000.

Personal incomes rose a seasonally adjusted 2.6% in December, according the Commerce Department, their fastest pace in eight years. However, economists say higher income is due to one-time dividend distributions and will reverse sharply in January. Consumer spending rose 0.2% in December, in line with expectations.

U.S. sectors were lower with cons. non-cyclical leading the pack, down 1.13%. Services and utilities marked the slimmest loss, down 0.02% and 0.06%, respectively.

Commodities were lower mid-day. Crude oil for March delivery was down $0.84 to $97.10 a barrel. March natural gas was down $0.015 at $3.32 per 1 million BTU.

In metals, February gold futures were down $16.10 at $1,663.80 per ounce. March silver was down $0.497 at $31.68 per ounce in electronic trade. March copper was down $0.006 at $3.74 per pound.

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

Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) down 33.70 (-0.24%) 13,876.72

S&P 500 (^INX) down 3.84 (-0.26%) 1,498.12

Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC) down 1.15 (-0.04%) 3,141.15

NYSE Composite (^NYA) down 25.59 (-0.29%) 8,878.71

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei 225 Index up 0.22%

Hang Seng Index down 0.39%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.12%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.33%

DAX down 0.17%

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Financial Sector Index (^NYK) down 12.60 (-0.23%) at 5,394.88

NYSE Energy Sector Index (^NYE) down 94.43 (-0.70%) at 13,370.15

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index (^NYP) down 27.17 (-0.32%) at 8,477.10

UPSIDE MOVERS:

(+) LPS (+6.07%) Has entered into settlement agreements with the attorneys general of 46 states and the District of Columbia. The multi-state settlement, which includes an aggregated payment by LPS of $127 million, resolves inquiries surrounding the company's default operations, including former document preparation, verification, signing and notarization practices of certain operations.

(+) HHS (+21.72%) Reported Q4 earnings of $0.24 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.19. Revenues were $204.84 million, versus the analyst estimate of $208.23 million.

(+) AN (+6.48%) Reported Q4 earnings of $0.67 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.64. Revenues were $4.17 billion, versus the analyst estimate of $3.98 billion. Same store retail new vehicle unit sales increased 17% and were up 18% overall.

(+) BX (+5.91%, below new high) Reported Q4 earnings of $0.59 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.47. Revenues were $1.22 billion, versus the analyst estimate of $1.1 billion.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS:

(-) RDEN (-17.03%) Reported Q2 earnings of $1.58 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $1.64. Revenues were $467.92 million, versus the analyst estimate of $492.58 million. RDEN sees Q3 EPS of $0 - $0.04 on revenues of $255 million - $270 million. The Street view is EPS of $0.18 on revenues of $276.10 million.

(-) LQDT (-24.83%, above new low) Reported Q1 2013 earnings of $0.20, worse than estimates of $0.38, and compared to earnings of $0.28 in Q1 2012. Revenues came in at $122.2 million, below estimates of $130.6 million, and compared to $106.2 million the year prior. LQDT revised full-year guidance downward, and now sees EPS for fiscal 2013 to range from $1.90 to $2.02, a decrease from previous guidance of $2.05 to $2.23.

(-) NEWN (-1.79%, near low) Said that its subsidiary, Shenzhen Anytone Technology, has renewed its agreement with New Trent Inc., a retailer and distributor of mobile power devices, to manufacture New Trent's products to be sold in the U.S. and U.K. in 2013.

(-) CLSN (-81.38%, above new low) Announced that ThermoDox in combination with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) did not meet the primary endpoint of the phase 3 HEAT Study in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma ( HCC ), which is the most common form of liver cancer.



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

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: HCC

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