Midday Update: Stocks Pare Post-Data Losses
Stocks have erased some of their early losses that followed below-consensus economic data on Thursday, but were still trading in the red for a second straight day. Consumer stocks and utilities were leading the markets lower while energy stocks continue to outperform as crude oil prices rise for fifth time in the past six sessions on global supply pressures amid ongoing conflict in Iraq.
Retail sales rose 0.3% last month, but missed analyst estimates for a more robust 0.6% gain. However, April sales were revised higher, from an anemic 0.1% rise to a 0.5% increase. Excluding autos and gas, retail sales were only unchanged in May, following an upwardly revised 0.3% increase the month prior.
Also, there were 317,000 individuals filing for unemployment claims the week ended June 7, more than the 309,000 expected. The week prior was also revised higher by 1,000 to 313,000.
Export and import prices both rose 0.1% in May, missing estimates for a 0.2% gain.
Finally, business inventories followed the lead from Wednesday's wholesale inventories and increased a better-than-expected 0.6% versus the consensus estimate for a 0.4% increase.
European equities were mostly lower despite strong EU production data, losing momentum in tandem with a softer US equity market.
Crude oil was up $1.43 to $105.82 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.21 to $4.72 per 1 million BTU. Gold (CNS: GCQ2) is up/down XXX to XXX an ounce, while silver was up $0.26 to $19.44 an ounce. Copper was down $0.03 to $3.02 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 1.44% to $38.80 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 4.68% to $26.15. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 2.19% to 23.91 while SPDR Gold Shares was up 0.87% to $122.44. The iShares Silver Trust was up 1.27% to $18.70.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index down 23.33 (-0.21%) to 10,849.36
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 58.44 (-0.35%) to 16,785.44
S&P 500 down 6.78 (-0.35%) to 1,937.11
Nasdaq Composite Index down 13.33 (-0.31%) to 4,318.61
Nikkei 225 Index down 0.64%
Hang Seng Index down 0.35%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.16%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.06%
CAC 40 down 0.02%
DAX down 0.11%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.62%
NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.22%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.18%
(+) AXR (+24.44%) Solves working capital dispute with Heinrich Bauer.
(+) RH (+13.31%) Beat Q1 estimates and raised FY 2014 outlook.
(+) LE (+8.94%) Reported higher than expected Q1 revenue.
(-) LULU (-15.78%) Guides Q2 earnings and revenue below the Street view.
(-) SFUN (-17.20) Deutsche Bank downgrades the stock to Hold from Buy, cuts PT $5.
(-) ACHN (-6.32%) Profit-taking after 200% appreciation since Friday.
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