Stocks struggle as Europe, China worry investors
The Dow sees a 25-point gain fade to a 10-point loss as IBM and American Express are weak. Cisco jumps on an upgrade. US jobless claims dip, but growth in Europe and China is slowing. Nordstrom earnings cheer; Elizabeth Arden hits an all-time high.
Stocks ended the day flat after giving up most of their early advances as a bout of profit-taking and worries about China and Europe offset a decent report on U.S. jobless claims.
The global worries pushed the dollar higher against major currencies, especially the euro and the British pound, and that, as usual, has weighed on stocks of big multinational companies. American Express (AXP), IBM (IBM) and and United Technologies (UTX) were the weak links in the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU), which closed down slightly after four straight gains.
The one multinational that wasn't feeling the dollar pain was Cisco Systems (CSCO), up 54 cents to $17.70. The networking company was the top performer among the 30 Dow stocks and fourth-best among Nasdaq-100 ($NDX) stocks after an upgrade from Piper Jaffray and inclusion in Goldman Sachs' "conviction buy" list.
Shares of upscale department-store operator Nordstrom (JWN) were up 92 cents to $56 after hours as earnings cheered investors. The stock had slipped 37 cents to $55.08 in regular trading.
The Dow finished down 10 points to 13,165. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) gained a touch less than 1 point to 1,403, its fifth straight gain and longest winning streak since early June. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was up 7 points to 3,019.
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The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX) gained 6 points to 2,720. Apple (AAPL), the biggest influence on the index, was up $3.52 to $620.73.
Crude oil (-CL) opened above $94 a barrel but fell back to $93.36, a 1-cent gain, as the dollar moved higher. Gold (-GC) finished up $4.20 to $1,620.20 an ounce.
While the Dow itself moved lower, it was a split day. Fifteen of the 30 stocks in the index were higher, led by Cisco. But their gains were small. The losses for American Express, IBM and United Technologies alone subtracted nearly 15 points from the blue-chip index.
The market has traded in a narrow range so far this week but still looks to end higher for the fifth straight week. Moreover, August has started on a positive note, with the Dow up 1.2%, the S&P 500 up 1.7% and the Nasdaq 2.6%.
The gains have come as U.S. economic data for the last few week have not been as dour as in May and June. Moreover, the news from Europe, a source of near-panic in markets in May, has been quiet. Perhaps it's because many people are following the Olympics. But it's also true that many politicians and business leaders in Europe and the United States are on vacation.
Coming Friday: The July report on import and export prices and the monthly Treasury statement. Harman International (HAR), J.C. Penney (JCP) and Bank of Ireland (GB:BKIR) are the key earnings.
Futures trading suggests a modestly lower open for stocks.
Nordstrom has a solid quarter
The company earned 74 cents a share in the fiscal second quarter, beating the consensus estimate by a penny. Revenue was up 7.4% from a year ago to $2.92 billion, though it missed estimates by $100 million.
It also boosted guidance for the year, with same-store sales expected to be up 6% to 7% and earnings up $3.40 to $3.50 a share, up from 2011's $3.18.
For the fiscal third quarter it sees a "high-single-digit increase" from a year ago's $2.38 billion and a "mid-single-digit" increase for the fourth quarter.
The results were skewed slightly by the timing of Nordstrom's anniversary sale, the largest of the year. One week of the two-week sale came at the start of the third quarter. So, third-quarter results should be stronger than usual.
Same-stores sales at its full-service department stores were up 1.1%. But sales rose 7.7% at the discounted Rack stores. The concept is working well enough that Nordstrom is accelerating expansion of that business from 110 now to 230 Rack stores by the end of 2016.
Elizabeth Arden soars
Elizabeth Arden (RDEN) shares jumped $5.06 to $44.02 after reaching an all-time high of $47.50. The company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and gave strong guidance for its first quarter.
The company, which makes namesake perfume and celebrity perfume for people like Britney Spears and Justin Bieber, cited strong international sales and the expansion of its perfume business, particularly in Europe.
Because of one-time charges for license fees and other costs, net income was off 33% to $3.6 million, or 12 cents per share, from $5.4 million, or 18 cents per share, last year. Excluding those items, the company earned 28 cents per share, much better than the 20 cents expected on Wall Street.
Revenue was up 5% to $265 million from a year ago, a bit more than Street estimates.
|Energy prices -- New York close|
|Thur.||Wed.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$93.36||$93.35||9.89%||-5.53%|
|Heating oil (-HO)||$3.0450||$3.0159||12.37%||4.49%|
|Natural gas (-NG)||$2.9450||$2.9330||4.28%||-1.47%|
|(per mil. BTU)|
|Unleaded gasoline (-RB)||$3.0008||$2.9804||8.16%||12.92%|
|(per gallon; AAA)|
Some good signs for the economy
Coming into today, the Dow and S&P 500 had risen for four straight days, in part because U.S. economic data were showing some improvement. There were a few more signs of improvement today.
The Labor Department said jobless claims unexpectedly dropped to 361,000 in the week ended Aug. 4. Economists had predicted an increase to 370,000. At the same time, the Commerce Department said the nation's trade deficit fell in June, thanks mostly to falling oil prices.
Europe became a worry in part because the optimism of a long-term solution to the continental debt crisis is fading. That has more to do with the realization that getting a solution in place will take gobs of time.
At the same time, the eurozone’s economy will shrink 0.3% this year, according to a European Central Bank survey of professional forecasters. The previous forecast called for a 0.2% contraction.
Chinese economic data kept alive talk that central banks will intervene to support the global economy. Annual growth in factory output slowed to its weakest in more than three years in July while annual consumer price inflation hit a 30-month low.
Manchester United's IPO price is lower than expected
British soccer club Manchester United sold 16.6 million shares of common stock at $14 a share late today. The stock will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday with the ticker MANU as it tries to pay off more of the heavy debt piled on the club in its 2005 takeover.
The company raised $232.4 million in the IPO. The price was lower than the hoped for range of $16 and $20 a share. Had it been able to sell the shares at the $20 price, they might have raised around $330 million.
The 134-year-old club, with a record 19 English championships, is one of the most well-known teams on the planet, so the IPO was of great interest. But many analysts had cautioned that the debt-ridden team was overvalued and the offering was dependent on investors wearing their fan colors rather than their financial thinking caps.
Moreover, the offering will give investors little say in the company. The Glazer family of Florida will control the stock, and it offered limited financial disclosure as well.
E*Trade is looking for a new CEO; Monster Beverage slumps
E*Trade Financial (ETFC) rallied 55 cents to $8.57 as Chief Executive Officer Steven Freiberg was ousted from the company and its board is seeking a new leader.
But Monster Beverage (MNST) shares were off $6.57 to $61.20 after profit and sales missed analysts’ projections.
Robbins & Myers (RBN) shares rose $12.83 to $59.63. Oilfield-services equipment maker National Oilwell Varco (NOV) agreed to acquire the company for $2.55 billion, a deal that will expand the company’s offerings of tools, pumps and valves used in oil production.
Boingo Wireless (WIFI) shares fell $2.23 to $6.77 after the company's fiscal-second-quarter results were slightly lower than analysts’ estimates. Its guidance for the third quarter was also below Street estimates. Boingo expects revenue of $25.5 million to $26.5 million for the quarter, with earnings of 5 to 6 cents a share. The Street consensus had been for revenue of $28.9 million and earnings of 8 cents. Boingo provides mobile internet service at some 500,000 Wi-Fi hotspots or locations around the world, often at airports.
|Short hits from the markets -- New York close|
|Thur.||Wed.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|13-week Treasury bill||0.1100%||0.110%||10.00%||1000.00%|
|5-year Treasury note||0.728%||0.719%||21.54%||-12.29%|
|10-year Treasury note||1.688%||1.640%||1.75%||-9.78%|
|30-year Treasury bond||2.750%||2.740%||-0.47%||-4.81%|
|U.S. Dollar Index||82.71||82.439||1.17%||2.72%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in pounds||£0.639||£0.638||0.41%||-0.65%|
|Euro in dollars||$1.23||$1.24||-2.57%||-5.08%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in euros||€ 0.813||€ 0.809||2.64%||5.35%|
|U.S. $ in yen||78.74||78.44||-1.26%||2.13%|
|U.S. $ in Chinese||6.38||6.36||0.17%||0.90%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|(in Canadian $)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$93.36||$93.35||9.89%||-5.53%|
Jeff, AP1st, This is why you should vote for Obama.
Created almost 4 times as many jobs in 4 years as Republicans created in 8
Saved our nation from economic melt down caused by Republican policies
Gave the order to go into Pakistan to kill our #1 enemy Bin Laden
Killed more top Al Qaida operatives in one month than Republicans did in 8 years
Saved millions of American jobs by keeping GM out of Bankruptcy
Given America a 2% growth rate while Europe falls back into recession
Doubled the Stock Market
Fighting to balance our budget against a Republican congress that wants to keep taxing and spending
Fighting to bring affordable Health Care to all Americans, blocked by Republicans
Has regained respect for America world wide, after the 8 year Bush disgrace
Fights to keep laws in place restraining Wall Street greed that ruined our economy
Got us out of Iraq
Fights for equal pay for equal work, Republicans voted against it
Fights for jobs bills to strengthen our economy, also blocked by Republicans
Fights to restore the tax code that gave us 4 straight years of balanced budgets under Clinton and reduced our debt by 10% of GDP, blocked by Republicans who have no intention of ever balancing a budget or reducing our debt.
And finally Obama has restored dignity to the White House after 8 years of wire tapping, torturing, shooting friends in the face, out of control banks, lies to start wars and out of control spending that has given us this monster debt today. Obama 2013!
Who is RoMoney..??
Any one that we should know about, Or pay attention to....??
OBAMA IS SURE LEADING US...................
BUT DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE HE IS GOING????????????
"Can't believe you even get paid for your BS."
It is only fair since we have to pay Obama for his BS, and all the other elected politicians for that matter.
The other day I said that someone, in Europe, would break wind and the economy would go down again. Looks like that someone let a squeaker go by and now Wall Street starts to worry.
Anyone knows the difference between Obama supporters and Romney supporters??????
Here is the answer:
OBAMA SUPPORTERS SIGN THEIR NAME ON THE BACK OF THE CHECK
ROMNEY SUPPORTERS SIGN THEIR NAME ON THE FRONT OF THE CHECK
Simple but true
Got any Chick-O-Filet lately?
Here we go again as Reagan would say:
OBAMA BLAMES BUSH
THE STOCK MARKET BLAMES EUROPE, CHINA AND EVERYONE ELSE
Well Well Well, tell me when is it that America is responsible for what it does huh?
OR TELL WHEN IS IT THAT AMERICAN WILL STOP BLAMING OTHERS FOR THEIR DEMISE?
Crude Oil should drop the price to 45.00 a barrel since they get it for free from the ground, they just invest on machinery and labor but they get their money's worth with profits since they get billions of barrels in the life time of the oil wells.
an you all thought they went away ?????? L OL !! They have to give you something to worry about when they come in for the kill !!!!!!!!!!!!!
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market welcomed the new trading week with a mixed session that saw relative strength among large-cap stocks, while high-beta names underperformed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.3%) and S&P 500 (-0.1%) finished near their flat lines, while the Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000 both lost 1.1%.
Equities began the day on a cautious note amid continued concerns regarding the strength of the global economy. Over the weekend, China reported its first decline ... More
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