Markets

Closing Update: Stocks Slip From Session Highs But Stay Positive Thursday After Mixed Economic Data Keeps Interest Rate Worries on Bubble

Stocks rose Thursday, recouping a portion of the prior session's declines after mixed economic data today kept the door slightly ajar for Federal Reserve policy-makers to postpone an expected interest-rate increase at their upcoming meetings next week. Winners outpaced decliners among the 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500, with shares of technology and health care companies resisting late profit-taking to keep all three of the major market indices on positive ground at the close.

Consumer stocks recovered from late selling, with shares of materials companies also turning positive again just before the closing bell. Industrial and utility stocks were the lone laggards today as the mostly buoyant mood today kept investors in pursuit of riskier assets.

First-time jobless claims declined by 6,000 applications last week compared with the prior week, the Labor Department said, underscoring the continuing strength of the job market. But import prices fell 1.8% during August, doubling the previous month's decline and keeping inflation well below the Fed's 2% target. Export prices also fell sharply although the 1.4% drop was largely due to the influence of a stronger dollar against other currencies.

Energy stocks also rose Thursday following a rebound for crude oil in commodities trading today. October crude settled $1.77 higher at $45.92 per barrel while October natural gas futures added 3 cents to finish at $2.68 per 1 million BTU. Gold futures also reversed earlier declines, with December gold rising $7.30 to $1,109.30 per ounce.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at the end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 76.83 (+0.47%) to 16,330.40

S&P 500 up 10.25 (+0.53%) to 1,952.29

Nasdaq Composite Index up +39.72 (+0.84%) to 4,796.25

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index down 2.57%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.39%

FTSE 100 Index down 1.18%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) ENVI, Accepts $125 mln acquisition proposal by Ericsson ( ERIC ), which will pay $4.10 in cash for each ENVI share, a nearly 116% premium over yesterday's closing price.

(+) CNW, Agrees to a $3 billion buyout offer from rival XPO Logistics ( XPO ), which will pay $47.60 in cash for each CNW share, a 34% premium over Wednesday's closing price.

(+) PSBH, Discloses plans to reorganize from its current structure as a two-tier mutual holding company into a fully public stock holding company, with the new bank holding company selling common stock through a subscription offering.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) SHLO, Yesterday said it would be unable to file its quarterly report for the three months ended July 31 on time because of "internal investigation into the accounting for certain costs at the company's facility in Wellington, Ohio.

(-) LULU, Sees Q3 EPS of $0.35 to $0.37, lagging Capital IQ consensus by at least $0.06 per share. Raises FY15 earnings outlook by $0.01 to new range of $1.87 to $1.92 per share, trailing Street view expecting $1.93 per share.

(-) AMID, Prices $84.8 mln public offering of 7.5 mln equity units at $11.31 each, a 5.2% discount to yesterday's closing price.

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

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

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