Markets

Mid-Day Update: U.S. Stocks Extend Slump After Rising CPI, Falling Home-Builders' Optimism Weigh on Equities

U.S. stocks were lower in mid-day trade following a pair of downbeat economic reports, including builder confidence falling to its lowest level in nearly a year and consumer prices posting another rise. But separate reports Thursday finding first-time jobless claims falling to a seven-year low and improving manufacturing activity in New York state and surrounding areas had little positive impact on shares.

The April consumer price index rose 0.3% from March, as expected, according to Econoday data. Excluding food and energy, prices were 0.2% higher over March levels, topping the expected 0.1% gain.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo survey reported that builder confidence in newly constructed, single-family homes fell to a 45 reading, trailing expectations for a 48 score this month and falling below the previous low-water mark for the index, which was a 46 reading just last month.

Weekly jobless claims fell to 297,000, the Labor Department reported today, beating the market consensus looking for 317,000 first-time claims. Meanwhile, the Empire State manufacturing index for May jumped to a 19.01 reading compared to the 5.00 consensus.

Crude oil is down 0.69% to $101.66 per barrel. Natural gas was up 2.7% to $4.49 per 1 million BTU. Gold for June delivery was down 0.48% to $1,299.40 an ounce, while silver was down 1.06% to $19.58 an ounce. Copper for July deliver fell slightly to $3.15 a pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.4% to $37.04, with the United States Natural Gas Fund up 2.4% to $24.87. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 1.6% at $23.61 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.9% at $124.68. The iShares Silver Trust was down 1.4% at $18.73.

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

NYSE Composite Index is down 1.1% at 10,540.96

Dow Jones Industrial Index is down 1.1% at 16,435.12

S&P 500 down 1.18% at 1,866.06

Nasdaq Composite Index is down 1.3% at 4,046

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 is down 0.58% at 6,838.68

DAX is down 1.11% at 9,646.08

CAC 40 is down 1.2% at 4,446.89

Nikkei 225 is down 0.75% at 14,298.21

Hang Seng Index is up 0.7% at 22,730.86

Shanghai China Composite Index is down 1.06% at 11.19

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index is down 1.34% at 15,420.45

NYSE Financial Sector Index is down 1.46% at 6,248.02

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index is down 0.86% at 10,930.94

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) ZEN, (+41.5%) Prices IPO at $9 per share.

(+) PLUG, (+3.2%) Cowen upgrade to Outperform.

(+) CROX, (+1.3%) Raised to Strong Buy at CL King.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) ACXM (-22.6%) FY15 guidance trails Wall Street estimates.

(-) MEA (-4.0%) Posts wider Q1 loss than analysts were expecting.

(-) VOXX, (-23.1%) Reports Q4 earnings miss and guides FY15 beneath Street view.

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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