Closing Update: Stocks Log Loss as Consumers Spend Less, Data Potentially Gives Fed Taper Ammunition
Stocks limped into the close again today, driven into the red by disappointing holiday sales and bullish economic data that investors fear will encourage the Federal Reserve to start paring back asset purchases sooner or more aggressively than anticipated. Selling pressure snowballed during the last 30 minutes of trading, pulling the major indices to fresh intra-day lows. The Nasdaq closed in negative territory for the first time in seven days.
Retailers suffered the heaviest losses, especially Sears ( SHLD ), Urban Outfitters ( URBN ) and Wet Seal ( WTSL ), but the interest rate-sensitive homebuilding sector was also under water as a result of rising Treasury yields. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.80% for the first time in 6 weeks.
Today's data kicked off with the November Purchasing Managers Index rising to a 10-month high of 54.7, better than the consensus estimate of 54.2, and much better than 51.8 from the month prior. Complementing strength in the PMI was a surprise improvement in the Institute for Supply Management index for November, improving to a 31-month high of 57.3, beating estimates for a decline to 55.5.
Finally, construction spending was mixed -- declining 0.3% in September, but gaining 0.8% in October.
Here's where the markets stand at the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 77 points, or 0.5%, at 16,008.77
S&P 500 was down 4.9 points, or 0.3%, at 1,800.90
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 14.63 points, or 0.4%, at 4,045.26
FTSE 100 was down 0.83%
Nikkei 225 was down 0.04%
Hang Seng Index was up 0.66%
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 0.59%
CAMT, Seeking Alpha published a positive article on the company's prospects in the 3-D printing industry
FREE, Shares skyrocket after company announced elimination of $30 million in debt.
BOSC, Reported that non-GAAP net profit jumped more than threefold to $415,000 from $124,000 a year ago. On a GAAP basis, earnings swung to a profit of $0.19 per share from a loss of $0.04 a year ago.
MYGN, InVitae, a genetic diagnostics company, sued Myriad over genetic breast cancer testing patents.
ZOOM, The company reported a Q3 net loss of $14.09 million compared to net income of $0.75 million a year ago.
PBR Brazilian energy producer Petrobas tumbled after The Wall Street Journal reported that Brazil continues to hold down fuel, public transportation and electric power prices