U.S. Stock Indexes Hover Near the Even Mark as Economic Data Fails to Stoke New Rally

U.S. stocks are hovering near the even mark mid-day Wednesday as investors digest the latest onslaught of economic data and take a rain check against the rally of the major stock indexes to record highs.

Stocks were lower in the pre-bell session, but later limited their losses and turned mixed after the government reported that U.S. retail sales jumped in February. Retail sales were up 1.1% in February, surpassing the 0.7% rise analysts polled by MarketWatch had expected.

Retail sales increased at their fastest clip in five months, with most of the advance attributed to climbing gasoline prices. Meanwhile, January retail sales were revised up to 0.2% and December sales were left unchanged at 0.5%.

Also reported pre-bell, the Labor Department said prices paid for goods imported into the U.S. surged 1.1% in February, the second straight month of gains and above the consensus analyst expectation for a 0.5% advance. This is the biggest increase in import prices in six months. Fuel prices contributed the most to the increase.

At 10 a.m. ET, the Commerce Department announced that business inventories jumped 1.0% in January to a seasonally adjusted $1.64 trillion, nearly double the increase forecast by economists. December's inventories growth were revised up to 0.3% from an initial reading of a 0.1% increase.

In commodities, gold has seen both upside and downside momentum in the session, first pushing near its recent resistance level of $1,600 an ounce, then quickly backing down. Gold was last quoted down 0.22% at $1,588.20 an ounce. Oil futures are up 0.43% at $92.94 a barrel, shrugging off the EIA's report that crude-oil inventories increased by 2.6 million barrels last week.


-Dow Jones Industrial down 0.08%

-S&P 500 futures up 0.04%

-Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.09%


Nikkei down 0.61%

Hang Seng down 1.46%

Shanghai Composite down 0.99%

FTSE-100 down 0.65%

DAX-30 up 0.07%


(+) Large cap tech: higher

(+) Chip stocks: higher

(+) Software stocks: higher

(+) Hardware stocks: higher

(+) Internet stocks: higher

(-) Drug stocks: lower

(-) Financial stocks: lower

(-) Retail stocks: lower

(-) Industrial stocks: lower

(+) Airlines: higher

(+,-) Autos: mixed


(+) ATOS, (+17.3%, but well off new 52 week high hit earlier) Company Enters into Contractual Agreement with FedMed for Diagnostic Laboratory Testing.

(+) NFP, (+12.5%, but $1 off new year highs hit today) Company Confirms PE Firm Interest in Buy-Out.


(-) EXPR, (-8.4%, but around $1 above day lows) Reports Mixed Q4; Guides Q1, FY13 EPS Below Street.

(-) SPPI, (-35.6%, hit new year lows) Releases Weak Guidance.

(-) SGMA, (-22.2%) Reports Profit, Sales Improve Year-Over-Year.

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

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

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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