Stocks struggle as eurozone hopes wane

Investors lose confidence that the ECB will stem the region's debt crisis. In the US, unemployment filings decline, the trade deficit narrows, and wholesale inventories drop.

By Melly Alazraki Aug 9, 2012 9:12AM

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

Stocks turned lower Thursday as a surprising drop in U.S. jobless claims failed to offset news of more weak growth in China and waning hopes of central bank action in the eurozone. While the Dow dipped lower, Cisco (CSCO) helped support the Nasdaq.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) was down 32 at 13,144. The S&P 500 ($INX) was down 2 points at 1,401. The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) was up 1 point at 3,012.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits slipped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 361,000, the Labor Department reported. Economists had expected claims to rise to 370,000.


And the Commerce Department said the U.S. trade deficit narrowed by 10.7 % in June to $42.9 billion, the smallest gap since December 2010.


U.S. wholesale inventories in June recorded their largest drop since September, falling 0.2% to $481.9 billion, the Commerce Department said. Economists expected inventories to increase by 0.3%.

The weakening economy in China has affected industrial production, which slowed for a third straight month in July. It also slowed consumption, helping to push prices lower. China's consumer price index rose 1.8% in July from the year-ago period, the slowest increase since January 2010, MarketWatch reported. The question now is whether Beijing will heed calls to further loosen its monetary policy -- and by how much it will boost stimulus measures.


In Europe, shares were on track for a five-month high and the euro was steady after the Chinese economic data kept alive talk that central banks will attempt another rescue, Reuters reported.


Cisco Systems (CSCO) was upgraded at Piper Jaffray to "overweight" from "neutral," saying better margins and cost controls will give earnings an upside boost. Cisco has also been added to Goldman Sachs' Conviction Buy List. 

Several homebuilder stocks also received a boost after JPMorgan upgraded many in the sector, including Beazer Homes (BZH), KB Home (KBH) and PulteGroup (PHM).

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (MDRX) shares rose 19% after the IT services firm raised its per-share earnings outlook late Wednesday.

Wendy's (WEN) posted a second-quarter loss on a debt extinguishment and saw expenses rise, while same-store sales and margins improved.

News Corp. (NWSA), the media company controlled by the billionaire Rupert Murdoch, reported quarterly results that met expectations on earnings but missed on sales.


Kohl's (KSS) reported a better-than-expected second-quarter profit despite weak sales as the department store chain reined in its costs.


Amgen (AMGN) halted a late-stage trial for an experimental drug for pancreatic cancer.

Aug 9, 2012 10:06AM

Craig 111 said


As if 361K is a low number?


And that number doesn't even scratch the surface of what is wrong with

the labor and employment picture in this country.  They can only hazard

a guess of how many people are unemployed and underemployed . 


70% of our economy is based on consumer spending and when a large

percentage of consumers aren't making enough money to afford even  the basics the economy is not going to recover. 


The stimulus and bailout money was not  distributed porperly.

Every dime on it should have gone directly to the American people. specifically

to those that needed it the most spread over a period of time and not all

at once.  Bush had the right idea but the amount was way to small.


The people should have decided who was TBTF rather than the government.


Now the government has stimulated and bailed until it is  bannkupt with little to show for it.  They stopped the slide, but have not got the economy started back

up the hill. 


Every once of energy and minute of time need to be used by Congress and

the Preident to recreate the economy and get the labor market back on course.

And where are they.  On a months vacation so they can get the most important

work of getting reelected done. 


Boy are we in trouble if we are going to depend on them to improve things.

And yes that includes both democrats and republicans.  They are all the

same.  They are politicans.


Aug 9, 2012 9:45AM
Here we go again, everything on Wall Street is UNEXPECTED!! Where do they find these dummies? Well if China's economy is slowing like this article says then why isn't oil prices going down. They jumped the other day when the so called UNEXPECTED jobless claims fell. China is using less oil so that means we should have an UNEXPECTED increase in crude supplys, right? I guess it could be a good thing for Americans though, if gas and oil continue to rise right before the election then maybe we can have a new President for 2013. I'm sure something UNEXPECTED will happen right before the election that will get the prices back down enough to change voters minds about who to vote for. I can say this, if I vote for Obama it will be greatly UNEXPECTED!!!!! He has done nothing but lied to us and continues to do so on a daily basis. We are UNEXPECTADLY further in debt, there are more people more UNEXPECTADLY on welfare, the unemployment rate is UNEXPECTADLY higher, he promised cheaper gas prices but they are UNEXPECTADLY higher, he UNEXPECTADLY let's people keep screwing us and getting by with it. The list UNEXPECTADLY goes on and on!!!!
Aug 9, 2012 10:25AM

For those who don't know how this works, the decline 6000 workers this week only stands for the 6000 who have lost their federal beneftis. This means that they are considered no longer looking for a job.


The height of irony considering you, apparently, don't know how this works.  The weekly unemployment claims are initial claims....meaning the first time these people have filed.  Those that have fallen off the unemployment rolls have nothing to do with the weekly claims numbers.


If you're going to educate people, at least know what you're talking about.

Aug 9, 2012 9:41AM

Gee...more bad job data...whoda thunk it?  And to think the gov didn't try to phony up some numbers but just give them time and they will come back with a revised number to make it look not so bad.  The reality is that yes...some companies are doing very well and but they are hoarding their cash knowing that tougher times lies ahead especially for those companies that sell into Europe.  I also find it concerning that why aren't these "cash rich" companies hiring?  It is my opinion that we will not return to the robust job market of years past due to the globalization and outsourcing of certain type of jobs.  In addition, with the continued weak economy, many people have cut back on spending for things other than necessities.  So if anyone thinks the 1 %'ers will spend enough to get the US back on track...don't hold your breath because it is not going to happen.  They are stashing cash in offshore banks for tax evasion and privacy as they know what lies down the road and it won't be pretty contrary to what all the stock market "cheerleaders" and others who push financial investment service would like you to believe.

Aug 9, 2012 11:23AM

note how there is a true invasion.  california has been the "safe mexico" for several decades.  now those 55 electoral college votes typically go to whoever is most open to the "plight" of the illegal alien.  (politically known as the "immigrant")


>>>>>And the Mexican invasion continues. Undocumented workers may be politically correct but illegal aliens is still the most accurate description.<<<<

Aug 9, 2012 10:45AM

""Don't forget it "We the People" do the hiring and firing"".


~ a lot of heads rolling in the next election

Aug 9, 2012 9:24AM
So is it flat or inching.  What lies will you report today.
Aug 9, 2012 11:14AM
I would not trust any published government numbers period. My reasoning is based on the fact that so many official numbers get revised two weeks later. When there is manipulation there is trouble. The sad part is that the market is actually swayed by this. My money is affected by this. Your wealth is affected by this. 

It is a shame that those who would hire folks to improve their wealth are attacked to the point that the hiring isn't happening. The american worker only has a competitive edge when the foreign workers can't physically take their work.

 And the Mexican invasion continues. Undocumented workers may be politically correct but illegal aliens is still the most accurate description.
Aug 9, 2012 10:14AM

all the more reason to vote out all incumbants this november


>>>>>>The people should have decided who was TBTF rather than the government.<<<<<

Aug 9, 2012 11:48AM
It is clear that the majority of people do not believe the economic reports that are spewed forth on a weekly bsis whether it's unemployment, jobs, housing etc.  It is also clear to me that just look what agency is reporting the numbers and you will see it is a self-serving agency that wants the American public to believe things are better than they really are (i.e. National Association of Realtors, National Association of Home Builders, The Labor Department, ADP, The Consumer Confidence Survey, The Manufacturing Index etc.).  In many cases the same stats are reported by two or three different agencies all with different results.  I have been saying all along that there needs to be accountability, transparencies and accuracy in the numbers and the only way to accomplish this is to have an independent third party provide the info.  In addition, it does not need to be reported every week but produce a monthly report broked down by category and by state to give a more accurate reading of our economic conditions.  I know this will never happen because those in control of our gov and our economy want to control the stats, the message etc. for their own self-serving needs.  Meanwhile, just look around where you live and you will get a much more accurate read on the economic vitality of your community than any trumped up report from someone sitting in Washington with their own agenda.
Aug 9, 2012 10:48AM

I want to know when we will see the following information on monthly jobs report.


1. # of people hired full time with benefits.

2. # of people hired full time without healthcare benefits

3. # of people hired as part time with no benefits

4. # of people hired as contract labor - ie: no benefits & can't collect unemployment


Give us the above info. each month and we will EXPECTIVELY have the UNEXPECTADLY!


I was out of work for 3 years.  I finally got a position as a contract labor worker at 20 hours a week and no benefits.  The person called me, not me contacting him.  I am glad to have this income (less than 50% of what I previously made) at 62, but I still do not have health care and I can't afford to purchase it on the open market.


Many of us are in this situation.  A lot of SMOKE AND MIRRORS FROM BOTH SIDES - but, OBAMA if reelected, will bring the demise of the middle class as he has already started the past 4 years.

Aug 9, 2012 11:08AM
There are good paying jobs available now if you've got the skill.
Aug 9, 2012 10:06AM
everything is not good. Even you lib dems what to spin it    Period
Aug 9, 2012 10:41AM

Let me tell everyone someting, I hear about how the "Rich" don't pay taxes. The next time you file you taxes and you are getting a big fat refund they you in the same category as the "Rich". A lot of you forget that the tax laws are written by everyone's elected officials. These are the elected officials who are on the Tax Committee in congress and the senate. The IRS didn't all of a sudden come up with a these taxe laws over night. They were created by the very elected officials "We the People" elect. If everyone remembers from their "Civics" class in school that it's "Congress is the one  creates laws". So if there is anyone to blame, blame your elected officials that you voted into office. That's who it works. So the next time you hear a candidate runing for office be very weary because that candidate oney wants your vote so he or she can to more damage to "We the People". Remember one thing elected officials can only be "FIRED' during election time. So now the time to start FIRING the elected officials"We the People" elected to do a job they "We the People" elected to do. Don't forget it "We the People" do the hiring and firing and sign the CHECK.

Aug 9, 2012 11:24AM
Can I have a map to those good jobs please, because here in my world, everything is minimum wage, part time and no benefits.  And that's if you have TWO degrees, one in Computer Science and one in Mechanical Engineer.
Aug 9, 2012 9:24AM
I wonder if these idiots that write these articals actually get paid.  If so, another thing wrong.
Aug 9, 2012 11:09AM
So if the economic data is good the stock market goes up because they are making money, and if the economic data is bad the stock market goes up because they expect the central banks to print money and give it to them. So whether things improve or not it is a win win for the stock market. The rest of us will just have to eat cake.
Aug 9, 2012 9:58AM

they get paid by the spammers.  otherwise we'd see no spam here


>>>>>>If they do, they get paid by the word.<<<<<<

Aug 9, 2012 11:29AM

decades ago i moved from where i grew up (phila area) because the want ads from A to Z were only one page in the city newspaper. 


certainly you can use the various job boards online and find there are key decent jobs in states like wyoming, montana, minessota, etc.  some very nice country in those states as well. 


if you're in year #3 in an area where job prospects suck, then you HAVE to move! 


>>>>>>Can I have a map to those good jobs please, because here in my world, everything is minimum wage, part time and no benefits.  And that's if you have TWO degrees, one in Computer Science and one in Mechanical Engineer.<<<<<<

Aug 9, 2012 10:43AM
Yep..things are great in the private sector alright..just great : /
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