U.S. stocks ended little changed Tuesday, with the major indices posting narrow losses sparked by geopolitical issues. Tensions between Ukraine and Russia again attracted investor attention after Russia sent a convoy to eastern Ukraine, insisting that it was bringing aid. Violence also continued to escalate in the Middle East, as ISIS and Kurdish forces clashed in Iraq.
Back home, the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning reported that job openings rose to 4.67 million position during June - the largest monthly increase since early 2001. The National Federation of Independent Business also said that its index of small business sentiment edged 0.7 points higher last month to a 95.7 reading.
Also today, the U.S. Treasury posted a $94.6 billion budget deficit in July, a 3.1% year-over-year improvement compared to the $97.6 billion in red ink produced by the government during the year-ago period. Receipts rose 5.3% year over year while outlays increased 2.5%. For the fiscal year to date, the deficit totals $460.5 billion, down 24.2% from the $607.4 billion during the same 10-month period last year.
Crude oil for September delivery settled 73 cents lower at $97.35 per barrel while September natural gas was unchanged at $3.97 per 1 million BTU. December gold rose 10 cents to $1,310.70 per ounce while September silver slipped 17 cents to $19.91 per ounce. September coppoer declined 2 cents to $3.15 per pound.
Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Index down 9.44 (-0.06%) to 16,560.54
S&P 500 down 3.17 (-0.16%) to 1,933.75
Nasdaq Composite Index down 12.08 (-0.27%) to 4,389.25
FTSE 100 down 0.04%
Hang Seng Index up 0.18%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.03%
(+) FRF, Climbs to best share price in over four years after accepting a $218 million buyout offer from Tiptree Financial ( TIPT ), which will pay $10 in cash for each FRF share. The deal also includes a 30-day go-shop period for FRF to explore other offers.
(+) ICPT, Said 46% of patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis treated with its obeticholic acid drug candidate did not suffer further liver scarring compared with only 21% in placebo group. Now planning late-stage trial during first half of 2015.
(+) TRAK, Adjusted Q2 net income of $22.4 mln, or $0.41 per share, tops $16.7 mln year-ago profit and beating Capital IQ consensus by $0.04 per share. Revenue rises 84.6% to $224.8 mln, exceeding estimates by $12 mln. Guides FY14 revenue above Street.
(-) KATE, Executive warns during apparel company's Q2 conference call that it may not meet its goal for improved profit margins by 2016 due a slower-than-expected roll-out of its new Saturday brand.
(-) NIHD, Falls to all-time low after late yesterday warning it may need to seek bankruptcy protection. The move follows the company reporting a Q2 net loss of $3.62 per share, exceeding analyst estimates looking for a $2.30 per share net loss.
(-) NUAN, Projected Q4 adjusted EPS outlook of $0.24 to $0.29 lags consensus by at least $0.05 per share. Revenue forecast of $500 mln to $520 mln trails by at least $20.5 mln. Q3 GAAP net loss was seventh in a row while revenue missed by $12 mln.
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