Stocks waver amid eurozone caution

Traders weigh signs of weakness in the region's private sector as the ECB prepares to discuss a bond-buying program. FedEx cuts its guidance. Facebook climbs as Zuckerberg vows to hold his shares.

By TheStreet Staff Sep 5, 2012 9:04AM
Updated at 12:21 p.m. ET


By Andrea Tse

 

Stocks traded in a narrow range Wednesday as investors weighed ongoing global worries and gloomy European economic data against hopes for stimulus ahead of the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday.

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) was up 30 at 13,066. The S&P 500 ($INX) was up 1 at 1,406. The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) was up 3 at 3,078.

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provided a revised read on U.S. second-quarter nonfarm business productivity, up 2.2% versus the 1.8% gain expected by economists. Unit labor costs were revised to a 1.5% increase, as expected. The previous read showed a 1.7% gain.


The European Union's statistics office said retail trade in the region fell 0.2% in July from June as worsening economic conditions hurt consumer demand.

 

Also, Markit published data showing its August composite PMI index on manufacturing and services declined to a revised 46.3, down from the flash reading of 46.6 and the July level of 46.5.

On the corporate front, FedEx's (FDX) now expects earnings of $1.37 to $1.43 a share in its fiscal first quarter ended in August, well below its original forecast for a profit of $1.45 to $1.60 a share. FedEx said global weakness "constrained revenue growth at FedEx Express more than expected in the earlier guidance." Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.56 a share in the first quarter.

 

Facebook (FB) shares rose after CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated he has no plans to sell any of his stock in the social network for at least 12 months.

 

Apple confirmed Tuesday it is holding a big event, which is widely expected to be the launch of the iPhone 5, on Sept. 12. The stock finished Tuesday's regular session at $674.97, up 1.5%. The shares are up more than 60% in 2012.

 

Nokia (NOK) and Microsoft (MSFT) are expected to unveil Nokia's new Lumia 920 smartphone in New York. The phone, Nokia's most powerful yet, will feature Windows Phone 8, the latest version of Microsoft's operating system. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)

 

Dollar General (DG) hiked its full-year earnings guidance after posting stronger fiscal-second-quarter profit as demand for basic goods and cheaper foods grew. The discount retailer also announced its board has approved the buyback of up to an additional $500 million of its common stock.


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170Comments
Sep 5, 2012 10:00AM
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I watched some of the speeches on TV last night and there were a couple things that were memorable.  Obama's speech was pretty much expected, although it may have been her best effort yet from a delivery standpoint.  Interesting that after spending months pounding Romney for being an evil rich guy who's out of touch, Obama still felt the need to spend most of her speech trying to convince people that Obama is just regular person, someone you might bump into at the local coffee shop or stand in line with at the post office. Yeah right.

The parts of Castro's speech about American Exceptionalism were the antithesis of the modern day Dem Party, and some of his words would have received resounding boos from the same people who cheered had they been spoken by someone like Rubio or Santorum.  It seems that many of the partisan hacks that attend these conventions are all about supporting the candidate and their eyes kinda gloss over when it comes to policy ideas or defining principles.  The cult of personality is clearly alive in both parties.

Another point taken away from the speeches last night is how much the left equates charity with government.  They somehow believe that paying taxes is the same as making a charitable contribution.  They somehow believe that charitable programs and entitlement programs are the same thing.  They aren't.  When you give to charity, you do so voluntarily.  Taxes aren't voluntary, they are taken by the gov via threat of force.  If you aren't happy with the way the charity spends your donation, you are free to stop giving.  God help you if you stop paying your taxes.  Charities are able to accomplish a whole lot with very little.  Gov always manages to accomplish very little, even when they tax and spend a whole lot.  Generally, people who get help from charities don't abuse the system.  There probably aren't many people "getting over on the man" by taking advantage of a free night in a homeless shelter or a free meal at a soup kitchen.  I'm guessing most people aren't going to a food bank unless they need food.  On the other hand, you have massive entitlement programs ripe with fraud and abuse.  If the Salvation Army can feed someone for $1 day, it would probably cost the gov $4 a day for the same thing.  And worse yet, they'd have to collect a total of $12 per day in tax revenue so they could spend $8 to operate the bureaucracy to be able to give someone $4 worth of food that they could buy anywhere for $1.   We've spent tens of trillions of dollars fighting the war on poverty and we have more poor people than ever before.  Hey lefties, many of us would be willing to pay more in taxes if you could show us that our tax dollars are being used wisely. But you can't, because they aren't.  So until you figure out how properly manage the trillions of dollars you have flowing into the treasury every year, shut-up about raising taxes already.

One last thing - why is it that the vast majority of the women at the DNC are physically unattractive?  I'm not talking about average looks, I'm talking about flat out ugly.  It looked like a "pig in a poke" dance last night in Charlotte.  Was there some contest going on about who could bring the fuggliest date to the speech? Wonder who won? Seriously, where do they find these chicks?  Did they all attend Michelle's White House Boot Camp Workout where they ran the 100 yard dash in a 90 yard gym?  Damn, Michelle Obama is no looker, but she looked like a supermodel compared to most of the dogs in the audience.
Sep 5, 2012 10:52AM
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What's this?

 

A 13-page marketing brochure obtained by NBC News shows how New American City, a nonprofit that is closely affiliated with the official Democratic convention host committee,  offered package deals to corporate contributors — with different benefits  starting at levels of $100,000 and escalating to the top “Tryon Street Level” of $1 million.

 

Got this from MSN homepage news. Seems if the reason is right, corporate money is OK with the democrats. Evil corporations!

Sep 5, 2012 10:57AM
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Hey guys, this is where the REAL Problem is:

As of Friday, August 31, the official debt tally reached $16,015,769,788,215.80

 

No need to look outside the White House

speeches, speeches, speeches, excuses, excuses, excuses...

Sep 5, 2012 10:54AM
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When will this class warfare BS be put to rest? This perpetuated diversion has been used by desperate politicians with no answers since the fall of the Roman empire in it's last days. In Obama's mind even the poorest of Americans are rich by world standards, so through the enrichment of other countries, we will not be viewed as an elitest society that wants to dominate the world. Enormous amounts of our money is being sent overseas that is debasing our currency. His communist mentors encouraged him to embrace a philosophy that those with wealth can be taxed up to 100% if society as a whole would benefit from services equal to those services provided by those collected taxes. The policies of today are only a small step closer to a total globalization agenda. A second term will be dominated by executive orders to fulfill the underlying agenda and this is a very dangerous path. 
Sep 5, 2012 10:57AM
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Mitt is a very rich man! He is a tough and focused (on his goal), and he doesn't fail. Few men have a life of as many acheivements as Mitt does.

 

Unfortunately, Americans elect a bunch of fools to public offices like Biden and Obama whose only focus is a lot of mumble jumbo social work crap!

 

What do people care about all over the globe? Easy making a dollar so they can survive. When people are making money and can get what they want/need, then they'll turn their attention to social issues.

 

We need a business man to lead our country. A man who'll invigorate the economy and create jobs. If the current clown stays in office, we'll be headed for economic disaster!

 

Go Mitt & Paul go. Biden & Obama blow!

Sep 5, 2012 10:55AM
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Liberals = Godless, soulless idiots.

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Ok folks we are on a roll now.

 

The first trillion in national debt took about 200 years

 

Now it takes less than 1 year to get $1 trillion in debt.

 

OK OBAMA let's see if you can get to $1 trillion debt in 1 month

 

Come on Obama you can do it.

 

Come on Obama your our man

 

Come on Obama spending $1 trillion in 1 month is easy

 

Just give the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt $1 trillion dollars it would just take like 2 seconds for you to sign the check.

 

Come on Obama you can do it.

Sep 5, 2012 10:00AM
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Good morning all. Do you think investors are waiting for Fridays employment #'s?
Sep 5, 2012 11:21AM
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"Hey guys, this is where the REAL Problem is:

As of Friday, August 31, the official debt tally reached $16,015,769,788,215.​80"


Is THAT how much banks have us out on a limb for in Europe and Asia? WOW!!! The White House doesn't invest, banks do. Bankers slipped the Gramm Leach Bliley Act of Terrorism into another Bill in 1999 to legalize collusion. We lost America that day and then got 8 years of Bush to ensure we'll never see a day of Freedom ever again.


Close the banks. end the Federal Reserve. Get rid of Wall Street. If we aren't 100% invested in job recovery RIGHT NOW, we won't be here by the New Year.

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WHAT???

Facebook () shares rose after CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated he has no plans to sell any of his stock in the social network for at least 12 months.

 

I saw a press conference where Mark and his new wife were going to sell about 1 million of his shares so they could start a new life together

 

Those shares were sold a long time ago so I guess Mark is half way right

Sep 5, 2012 12:39PM
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Someone needs to tell el' presadente' that an  "incomplete" assignment in school usually translates into an F.  When asked how he would grade himself on the economy up till now, that was his reply "incomplete".     "A person who is good at making excuses is little good for anything else"     BTW, those of you who consistently get more thumbs down on your comment's than thumbs up are in what we call the MINORITY.  You can look that word up if your not sure what it means.
Sep 5, 2012 10:52AM
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Look up a movie on the net, its called Inside Job really show how corupt wall st. and the goverment  are. Tells about the crash of 08. and how all this bullcrap could have been avoided except for the greed of a few.
Sep 5, 2012 11:12AM
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 Europe? Come on. Goldman Sachs has had three years now to contain any contagion. And it ALL goes away just by shoving a pen into somebody's hand and having him scribble on a piece of paper
Sep 5, 2012 10:09AM
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Brutus, some of your points are well taken, and in a perfect world I agree that the government does too much for too few usually, especially the entitled rich as well as the entitled poor. Still, we are the world's largest economy so far and still the world's strongest draw of most of the world's aspiring poor.  So in spite of it all, with all our warts, we are the most attractive.

You know Brutus, rich people like having showy things around them.  Whether it's expensive cars or expensive women.  That's the draw of wealth.

Sep 5, 2012 11:50AM
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Nothing has changed - same $h!t, different day. They will run the market up for their normal 3:00 dump......... it has nothing to do with Greece, Europe, the economy or anything else in the so called news media - it's all about  greed, pure and simple. Yesterday they ate their young, today and tomorrow they will inbreed with each other so they can feast on their new young on Friday.
Sep 5, 2012 10:38AM
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TOG says - I guess you could just hold a gun to Grandpa's head; Tell Grandma to spend more money or else.

 

After Grandma gets back off the floor, she would probably tell you the funerals already paid for, or she might pull a Dirty Harry on you and...."Make my day, mufrkr..." 

 

I could not have expressed it better myself.............

Sep 5, 2012 10:54AM
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Yes. we are up 46, 47 points but be cautious...Once again a bad combo of low volume and plenty of manipulators ready to make their move; in fact at 1047 hrs they just called for the first wave of selling...Be careful today, we call it as we see it and we don't trust these scumbags as far as we can see them...More later.
Sep 5, 2012 11:07AM
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 Information - it is NOT free at the click of a mouse and comes at  a price.It's called surveillance. Big Brother has indeed been empowered by Google and Facebook
 Imagine a future where a required Facebook page is accessed by your Globalist boss as a condition of employment, and any lies found out or "undesirable' positions taken means lifelong blacklisting. Once in HAL 2000 as a nogoodnik, you are there for eternity, no deletion allowed. Kind of like  John Williams on the no fly list
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Free monies Europe is going to join the USA and JAPAN and prints monies to infinity and beyond

 

FREE MONIES EVERYONE

 

FREE MONIES EVERYONE

 

just show your super rich card at the Federal Reserve pick up window and they will give you tons of cash they printed last night.

 

Short $1 trillion dollars from being able to buy that Greek Island -- no worries Uncle Sam will just give you the monies as you are part of the golden ones the super rich.

 

Short $100 billion from being able to build a new apartment building in New York no worries just ask Unle Sam he will give it to you if you show your super rich card to him.

 

Yep tons of monies for the super rich and not a penney for laid off hard working Americans who must now live in the street on hand outs. Yep teach those bums that the government doesn't have time nor money to waste on those losers.

 

FREE MONIES TO THE SUPER RICH FOLKS

 

GET YOURS NOW

 

YOU AREN'T super rich ... ROFL losers

Sep 5, 2012 10:12AM
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VL says - Here in the USA let's put some pressure on seniors living off what should be recovering us and hoarding the nest egg. That's just stupid thinking gone very wrong.

 

How do you recommend we pressure senior citizens V_L?

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