Stocks slide after flirting with 2008 levels
Stocks open to levels last seen in the spring of 2008, but the Dow falls 22 on profit-taking and worries about the economy. Caterpillar and Netflix are the leaders. Apple briefly hits a new high. Starbucks results disappoint.
Stocks opened higher today and pushed to levels last seen in the spring of 2008 before falling back on economic worries.
The initial surge was set off by a combination of strong earnings from Caterpillar (CAT) and Netflix (NFLX) and the after-glow of the Federal Reserve's projection that it may not have to raise interest rates until late 2014.
The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) briefly touched levels last seen in May 2008. Crude oil (-CL) moved above $100 a barrel, and gold (-GC) pushed well above $1,700 an ounce.
But reports of weaker-than-expected new-home sales in December (and the worst year on record) and a bump higher of initial jobless claims gave skeptics an opening to sell the market lower. And sell they did. Apple (AAPL) and Starbucks (SBUX) were two of a number of stocks that hit new all-time highs but sold off. Apple sold off during the regular session. Starbucks was lower after releasing fiscal-first-quarter earnings after the close.
The Dow closed down 22 points to 12,735. The blue chips had been up as many as 85 points to 12,842 by 9:55 a.m. ET. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was down 8 points to 1,318 after reaching as high as 1,333. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was off 13 points to 2,805. The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX), which tracks the largest Nasdaq stocks, was off 11 points to 2,455.
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The market's January rally has pushed the major indexes to levels not seen since mid-2008. The reason for the gains -- at least until today -- were signals the economy was strengthening and could see a decent year in 2012.
Unemployment has fallen below under 9%. Housing looks as if it may be bottoming, despite the huge inventories of foreclosed homes that lenders carry. Manufacturing has been one of the economy's brightest sectors. Automakers are selling cars. Mike Jackson, the CEO of Autonation (AN), told CNBC today that domestic auto sales would top 14 million units this year.
The auto retailer saw record company revenue of $3.7 billion and earnings of 51 cents a share, Jackson said, with the biggest increase coming in new vehicles. Shares were up 48 cents to $36.82.
Jackson based his bullishness on "leaner inventories" from automakers and, more importantly, "production that is coming in much closer aligned to what consumers actually want."
But much of the good cheer was tempered by a 2.2% drop in new-home sales, a seasonally adjusted rate of 307,000 units in December from 314,000 in November. Economists had expected an increase to 320,000. Builders were able to sell only about 302,000 for all of 2011. That's the worst level since the Census Bureau began compiling data in 1963.
Homebuilder shares tumbled on the report. Toll Bros. (TOL) slumped $1.16 to $22.07. Lennar (LEN) fell 67 cents to $22.13. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index ($HGX) was off 2 points to 117.53. It's still up 14.2% this month.
In addition, jobless claims in the latest week rose to a seasonally adjusted 377,000 from 356,000, but the longer-term trend of lower claims levels remains intact.
What's not clear -- but may become clear in the next few days -- is if today's pullback is a pause in the rally or the start of something else. There have been concerns in the last few days that stocks have become overbought. The S&P 500's relative strength index is at 84. Readings above 75 suggest an index or a security is overbought.
Ford Motor (F) and Dow components Chevron (CVX) and Procter & Gamble (PG) will report before Friday's open. Also reporting: American Electric Power (AEP) and T. Rowe Price (TROW).
The government will report on gross domestic product in the fourth quarter. The University of Michigan will release its second consumer sentiment index report for January.
Futures trading suggests stocks will open lower on Friday. One reason may be European concerns -- yet again. The dollar was higher in electronic trading.
|Energy prices -- New York close|
|Thurs.||Wed.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$99.70||$99.40||0.88%||0.88%|
|Heating oil (-HO)||$3.0446||$3.0104||4.47%||4.47%|
|Natural gas (-NG)||$2.6540||$2.7690||-11.21%||-11.21%|
|(per mil. BTU)|
|Unleaded gasoline (-RB)||$2.8508||$2.8374||7.28%||7.28%|
|(per gallon; AAA)|
Starbucks earnings don't impress
Starbucks said it earned $382.1 million, or 50 cents a share, on a 16.4% gain in revenue to $3.4 billion. The company earned $346.6 million, or 45 cents a share, on revenue of $2.95 billion in the year ago quarter. Analysts had expected 49 cents in earnings and revenue of $3.29 billion.
After hours, shares were down 84 cents, or 1.7%, to $47.50, after rising 57 cents to $48.34 in regular trading.
The gains were fueled by increasing sales in its stores, especially in China, and a 72% gain in sales in Starbucks- and Tazo-branded K-cup sales for Keurig coffee makers marketed by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR).
But gross profit margins were squeezed by higher commodity costs and higher compensation and distribution costs in China and Europe.
The company boosted full-year fiscal 2012 guidance to $1.78 to $1.82 a share, up 17% to 20% from a year ago's $1.52.
Green Mountain shares were initially higher after hours because of Starbucks, but shares were off 17 cents, or 0.3%, to $49.17. In regular trading, the shares had fallen $1.71 to $49.34. The shares had peaked at $115.98 on Sept. 28. They have slumped since then on worries about the business model.
Apple and SanDisk weigh on the Nasdaq; Netflix soars
Apple and chip maker SanDisk (SNDK) were among the big reasons why the Nasdaq fell back.
Apple was down $2.03 to $444.63 as the market reacted to a report in The New York Times about poor working conditions at factories in China where iPads and iPhones are assembled. More than half of the suppliers audited by Apple have violated at least one aspect of Apple's code of conduct every year since 2007, according to Apple’s reports. Apple subcontracts out nearly all of its manufacturing.
Flash-memory maker SanDisk dropped $5.95 to $46.39 after offering late Wednesday a sales forecast that fell short of estimates, citing lower prices for chips that store data in mobile phones.
Netflix surged $20.97 to $116.01. That was the best performance of any stock in the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq-100 today. The online and mail-order video-rental service reported fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates and forecast improving margins in its streaming business.
Caterpillar, JC Penney cheer investors
Caterpillar jumped $$2.26 to $111.31. The percentage change was tops among the 30 Dow stocks. Producers of coal, copper and iron ore are increasing investment to meet rising demand from emerging economies. Capital spending at major mining companies is expected to climb 25%, Bloomberg News said.
J.C. Penney (JCP) climbed the most in more than seven months after saying cost reductions from new CEO Ron Johnson’s turnaround plan may boost 2012 profit more than analysts estimated. Shares were up $6.44 to $40.72. Penney shares rose 8.8% in 2011. The department-store chain said it may save $900 million in the next two years as it simplifies its pricing strategy and revamps management. The company's profit forecast exceeded analysts’ estimates after changes Johnson announced yesterday failed to impress investors.
Telecommunications giant AT&T (T) fell 76 cents to $29.45. The largest U.S. phone company predicted 2012 earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates as record demand for smartphones such as the iPhone drive up subsidy costs.
E*Trade Financial (ETFC) tumbled $1.37 to $7.99. The online brokerage reported fourth-quarter revenue was $475 million. Analysts had expected $489.1 million.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) added $5.40 to $74.51 after saying it would repurchase $4 billion in shares. The company is rebranding itself as a broadband provider, rather than a cable TV business, to attract Internet users and make up for losses of video subscribers.
3M (MMM) added $1.10 to $87.58. The maker of Post-It Notes and fuel system tune-up kits posted higher profit than analysts estimated amid increasing demand for aerospace and auto industry products.
Dollar's decline boosts oil, gold
Thanks to the Federal Reserve's rate decision on Wednesday, the euro was rising against the dollar today and helping to boost commodity prices. The euro was at $1.311, up from Wednesday's $1.3104. The euro had fallen below $1.264 on Jan. 13.
Crude oil pushed to as high as $101.39 a barrel before dropping back to a settlement price of $99.70, up 30 cents. Brent crude, the benchmark North Sea oil, was up $1.21 to $111.02 a barrel. Natural gas (-NG) fell to as low as $2.588 per million British thermal units but rebounded back to $2.654, down 11.5 cents.
Gold settled up $26.60 to $1,726.70 an ounce. Silver (-SI) added 62.2 cents to $33.74 an ounce. Copper (-HG) rose 7.2 cents to $3.90 a pound.
Interest rates were lower, with the 10-year Treasury yield falling to 1.928% from 2.007% on Wednesday.
Energy, financial stocks are the weak links
The slump for natural gas pushed shares of natural gas producers lower. Devon Energy (DVN) dropped $1.35 to $64.82. Anadarko Petroleum (APC) was off $1.77 to $79.31. The NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index ($XNG) was down about 16 points to 636.
Bank stocks were broadly lower as interest rates fell.
Zions Bancorp (ZION), down 94 cents to $16.58, was the laggard among stocks in the KBW Bank Index ($BKX). First Niagara (FNFG) and Citigroup (C) were the only components of the index in the black. First Niagara rose 25 cents to $9.68. Citigroup added 42 cents to $30.38.
Bank of America (BAC) will freeze base salary levels and limit cash bonuses to $150,000 for some investment bankers, Bloomberg News reported today. The cap is part of a larger goal for the bank to preserve capital. Shares fell 5 cents to $7.30.
The cap on cash payments applies to those getting as much as $1 million in total year-end bonuses, with the rest coming in shares, Bloomberg said. Employees are being told of their payments today and can sell some of the stock starting on Feb. 15, Bloomberg said.
|Short hits from the markets -- New York close|
|Thurs.||Wed.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|13-week Treasury bill||0.0500%||0.040%||400.00%||400.00%|
|5-year Treasury note||0.770%||0.804%||-7.23%||-7.23%|
|10-year Treasury note||1.931%||2.007%||3.21%||3.21%|
|30-year Treasury bond||3.090%||3.149%||6.96%||6.96%|
|U.S. Dollar Index||79.513||79.717||-1.25%||-1.25%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in pounds||£0.637||£0.639||-0.98%||-0.98%|
|Euro in dollars||$1.31||$1.31||1.15%||1.15%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in euros||€ 0.763||€ 0.763||-1.14%||-1.14%|
|U.S. $ in yen||77.64||77.69||0.70%||0.70%|
|U.S. $ in Chinese||6.36||6.32||0.52%||0.52%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|(in Canadian $)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$99.70||$99.40||0.88%||0.88%|
Day traders...short term greed is what influences this market rally period. They could careless
about the rest of the population that has money in it for retirement for the long-term. Greed at its best .
Think of super computers and far more expensive and efficient programs that hypersend thousands of trades in an instant that are forced through, at speeds no average investor could do, to capture many tiny amounts of day profits against any calculations that the average American private stock traders' could have possibly considered...........................yes, that kind of odds against seeing a profit!
Home prices falling, sales worst on record, jobless claims bumping up...record number of people on welfare....is this what Obama meant that our economy is doing better? Duh.....This president is clueless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wall Street is never satisfied, they want your Medicare dollars, Social Security dollars, your 401K until there is nothing left - it is all consuming.
They are counting on the stupidity of Americans to keep choosing R's of D's to bicker against each other and name call while they steal the rug out from underneath you but until we wake up - if we ever do - we will be responsible for our own demise.
Stocks drop on speculation that tomorrow is Friday somewhere in the world and anticipation that Monday will follow this coming weekend.
Invest in lead - it is rumored that, starting next week, the Chinese will be increasing their output of all exported products.
CNBC is that you think we are stupid or are you so blindly in Love with Obama ... could be that Valentine's Day is fast approaching so you giving a big OXOXOXO to the Marxist in the White House. Jesus !!!
First of all the Economic Slide started in 2007 when Harry Reid / Nancy Pelosi / Barack Obama controled Congress both the House and the Senate ... The DOW was 14,800 and unemployment was 4.8% as far as I am concern Obama Pelosi Reid own all of this mess and we are 2,000 underwater and closed to 10,000,000 unemployed.
Since Obama Pelosi Reid have been in charge unemeployment has gone though the roof and stocks have cratered. Don't tell me some BS about " LAME DUCK " Bush because there was nothing he could do. Pelosi and Reid were laying the seeds of distruction for Obama to be sweep into the White House.
Truth is unemployment has not gone down Obama just removes and refuses to count over a million people because they're " Lazy - Soft - No Drive " Companies in the DOW and the S&P have been buying back their stock about 20% in your last article, so if you adjust the values to reflect the buy back the DOW is about 10,000
As the only trust worth CNBC anchor " Mark Haines " would put it that's a DEAD CAT BOUNCE. Shame on you Lairs, Shame.
What could be better than to know the shysters recycle the shysters..lol
Well since the middle class is disappearing...there will be two classes, poor and rich.
What then????? The people that play with livelihoods of millions eventually will know the rules of double standards apply.
Just wait until food is not just sustenance, but the commodity. In the words of Harry Stamper
quote from Armageddon, " They got people just thinking this **** up, and then people backing those people thinking **** up". This is the best the government can do!
When you can't rob peter to pay paul...lie.
The market's January rally has pushed the major indexes to levels not seen since mid-2008. The reason for the gains -- at least until today -- were signals the economy was strengthening and could see a decent year in 2012. Signals from November and December's indicators, which is like looking in a rear view mirror, is not to a great reason too get excited about the economy in '12 "decent year". That's old news by now. The fact that the Fed is going to leave rates low until 2015 is enough to make the market rally.....if the economy is really acclerating why would they commit to this? Because it isn't, it's actually slowing and they are concerned, we should be too.
I'm a software developer for a large (our name appears on an NBA arena) insurance company
I can see Brian now...coding software to 'insure' his insurance company properly...that's 'properly' to you, fleecing their clients.
Likely his software does one thing...Claim Form...and only one radio button...DENY!
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[BRIEFING.COM] A solid November employment report translated into a solid day of gains for the major averages. While there was some talk that the encouraging job growth raised the odds of the Fed announcing a tapering at its December meeting, the message of the markets today was either that it didn't believe there would be a tapering this month or that it doesn't fear a tapering this month.
It was just one day, yet there was ample meaning wrapped up in the connection that the 10-yr ... More
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