Stock losses narrow after data
Homebuilder optimism hits a 6-year high, and the US current account trade deficit narrows more than expected. FedEx cuts its full-year outlook. China's territorial dispute with Japan escalates. Apple trades above $700.
Stocks trimmed earlier losses as investors weighed the significance of economic bellwether FedEx's (FDX) cutting its outlook because of "weak global economic conditions" alongside improved homebuilder sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) was up 3 points at 13,556. The S&P 500 ($INX) was down 2 points at 1,459. The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) was down 2 points at 3,176.
FedEx (FDX) cut its second-quarter and 2013 outlooks because international clients have reduced premium shipping volumes. The package delivery company now projects second-quarter profit of $1.30 to $1.45 a share, which misses Wall Street's forecasts of $1.68 a share on average.
For 2013, FedEx now expects earnings of $6.20 to $6.60 a share, below its earlier forecast of $6.90 to $7.40. Analysts had expected fiscal 2013 earnings of $6.91 a share.
On Monday, U.S. stocks ended lower, breaking a five-day winning streak that took major indexes to multiyear highs last week.
economists had expected. A pickup in exports and a bigger income surplus helped narrow the deficit. If the slump in Europe and slowing China growth reduce demand for American goods, this will be hard to sustain.
Homebuilder optimism in September climbed for the fifth straight month to reach the highest level in more than six years, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo. The index gained 3 points to a seasonally adjusted reading of 40, above the 38 reading what economists polled by MarketWatch had anticipated. While the index has been climbing, it still isn't at the 50 level indicating "good" conditions.
Dispute between Japan and China escalating
Global stocks also retreated. In Asia, most markets closed lower as investor concern grew about the implications of a territorial dispute between China and Japan. The escalation of the conflict with several Japanese companies, including Nissan (NSANY) and Panasonic (PC), suspended some manufacturing operations in China as anti-Japan protests spread.
In Europe, markets were generally lower, with investors focusing on a Spanish bill auction to see whether Spain will ask for aid. The Spanish Treasury sold slightly more Treasury bills than planned and paid lower borrowing costs than at the previous auction held a month ago.
Stocks to watch
AMD (AMD) shares dropped after the the chip-maker said late Monday that Thomas Seifert had resigned as the company's chief financial officer. Devinder Kumar, a corporate controller and a 28-year AMD veteran, will serve as the interim CFO.
Dole Food (DOLE) struck a deal to sell its worldwide packaged-foods unit and its Asian fresh-produce business for nearly $1.69 billion to Japan's Itochu Corp. The proceeds will be used to work to pay down debt as the company also embarks on a streamlining plan via cost-reduction measures.
Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) said it will cut 1,200 employees out of its workforce of 13,100 as part of an effort to save $150 million and scale down its thermal-coal operations. Alpha Natural plans to idle eight mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Kohl's Corp. (KSS) said it will hire more than 52,700 temporary workers to staff department stores, distribution centers and back-office operations for the upcoming holiday season. That represents an increase of more than 10% from last year's holiday hiring.
Apple (AAPL) traded below $700 a share after briefly topping the milestone Monday on news that the company took more than 2 million preorders for the iPhone 5, more than double the initial preorder activity for the iPhone 4S. The new iPhone goes on sale Friday. Analysts at Sterne Agee upped their price target for Apple to $840 a share from $820 a share.
It would appear that it is getting more and more difficult to prop up that market with printed money. One up day for $40 billion? I thought we would get at least a week. Maybe if BB ups it to $80 billion that will fix it.
"The report also found the agency since January 2009 added 5.9 million Americans to the disability rolls. And in 2011, 10.6 million people were receiving more $128.billion in disability insurance payments, the report said."
What a great way to make the UE rate look better - take almost 6 million people out of the workforce and call them disabled. Sure, a percentage of these people actually legitimately qualify, but even if you just take the 1.5 million who don't, and put them back in the "looking for work" category, you end up with an official UE rate pushing 10%.
Starting to see more articles on the Fiscal Cliff. A would not be surprised if we fall over that cliff. The cliff has already been put in place so all Congress has to do is nothing and we fall over it. The cuts will have been made and both sides can blame the other for it happening. It's the perfect way to pass unpopular legislation without it sticking to you.
Funny how they can't agree on anything but they were able to agree on what's in the "Cliff". I call Bull___.
Steve, probably the second most important term to a Country's Economy are deficits, incurred in trading Internationally....
Debt may not matter...To some
But Deficits certainly do....And that's part of the slowdown effects in China right now...
No shippy----No money.
Disability Awards are/have been a major problem over the last 20 years....
After retirement I researched and/or attempted to receive SSI or disability...For back problems, heart situation, and general arthritis..Didn't get a lawyer and finally dropped the claim out of guilt issues.
If I had persued the case, more then likely would have been awarded... But instead just waited till 62 to start collecting SS.
I've known several and do know of,..Many that are collecting, because of bad backs, being fat(obese)
chronic alcoholic or drug abusers,heart problems and mental issues..And a host of other maladies ?
Yes,it is a major problem and many of the people could be working...Because some have cash jobs and others are able to function normally, when the MAN isn't looking; Golf,pool,fishing, cutting firewood,farming/gardening,putting on roofs and other odd jobs...
No need to worry..oblamo has been working on a Laser Beam for American jobs...?
Hes been working on it for almost 4 years now.... should see results soon...???
Give me a break, Wall Street.
I'm tired of all those whiny, lazy people sitting around on their lazy butts all day doing nothing but complain while waiting for their checks to come in.
But enough about dividend and capital gains distributions...
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