Member access

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 

U.S. Stocks Decline Broadly as Europe, Fed Worries Weigh

02/21/2013 | 10:12am US/Eastern

--Stocks tilt broadly lower in early market action, extending Wednesday's Fed-sparked declines

--All 10 sectors of the S&P 500 decline; index loses eight points

--Jobless claims higher than expected, investors look to housing and business readings

By Alexandra Scaggs

NEW YORK--Stocks extended their steep Wednesday declines in early trading, as euro-zone economic weakness and the threat of an end to Federal Reserve stimulus weighed on markets ahead of readings on the housing market and business activity.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 57 points, or 0.4%, to 13870. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index gave up eight points, or 0.5%, to 1504 and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 17 points, or 0.5%, to 3147.

All 10 sectors of the S&P 500 were in the red. Blue chips posted their second-biggest drop of the year Wednesday, as investors were jarred by the potential for an earlier-than-expected end to the Fed's experimental bond-buying programs.

"The market was looking for an excuse to go down, and the Fed provided it," said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer of multiasset strategies at ING U.S. Investment Management, which oversees about $170 billion.

Initial claims for jobless benefits rose to 362,000 in the latest week, more than the 350,000 expected. The consumer price index for January was unchanged on the month, and increased by 0.3% excluding volatile food and energy costs.

A trio of reports are due at 10 a.m. Existing-home sales for January are expected to show a decline of 1% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.89 million, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's February index of business activity is seen rising to +3.0 from January's -5.8, and the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index for January is forecast to gain 0.3%.

Wal-Mart gained 1.2% after the blue-chip discount retailer reported earnings that topped analyst estimates, helping to offset a first-quarter earnings outlook that was below current analyst projections.

Among other Dow components, Hewlett-Packard shed 0.1%. The technology company reports fiscal first-quarter results after the closing bell.

The losses in U.S. stock futures were more modest than declines in overseas markets.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1.2% on disappointing euro-zone data and worries that the Fed may soon start winding down its asset purchases. Markit's preliminary composite purchasing-managers' index for the euro zone fell to 47.3 in February from January's 48.6, and below expectations of 48.5. Readings below 50 indicate contraction. Within the euro zone, Italy's FTSE MIB skidded 2.4% and Germany's DAX slid 1.6%.

The weak data sent the euro down to a six-week low against the dollar. Meanwhile, the dollar lost ground against the yen.

Asian markets also suffered steep declines, highlighted by a 3% tumble in China's Shanghai Composite to a one-month low, the biggest percentage decline seen since November 2011. Exacerbating worries about the Fed easing up on its stimulus program, China's State Council said on Wednesday that it would continue with market controls to curb increases in property prices.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average shed 1.4% and Australia's S&P ASX 200 dropped 2.3%.

Gold futures slipped 0.3% to a seven-month low of $1,573.60 a troy ounce, putting them on an early track to suffer a sixth-straight loss. Crude-oil futures lost 2.1% to $93.21 a barrel. Yields on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 1.981% as prices rose.

In other corporate news, Tesla Motors shed 8.2% after the electric-car maker reported a wider-than-anticipated fourth-quarter loss and revenue that rose less than expected, as gross margin narrowed sharply.

Chesapeake Energy tacked on 0.8% after it beat Wall Street's expectations for profit and revenue in its latest earnings report.

VeriFone Systems tumbled 38% after the electronic-payments company indicated that fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue would fall well short of expectations, citing weak economic conditions in Europe and delayed projects from several major customers. It also provided a downbeat outlook for the current quarter.

Pegasystems surged 13% after the business process-management company reported much better-than-expected earnings and revenue, and provided a 2013 outlook that was above current projections.

Carlyle Group slipped 9% after it missed analyst estimates for its earnings and revenue. The private-equity firm recorded lower performance fees on top of an investment loss.

Hormel Foods edged up 0.6% after it reported fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue that were inline with analyst estimates and raised its full-year earnings outlook to reflect the benefit of buying the Skippy peanut-butter business last month.

Write to Alexandra Scaggs at alexandra.scaggs@dowjones.com

React to this article
Latest news
Date Title
<1m ago CHIME COMMUNICATIONS : Additional Listing
<1m ago GRUPA LOTOS : Polish Financial Supervision Authority approved supplement no. 2 to the issue prospectus of Grupa LOTOS S.A. prepared in connection with the information regarding subscription for new shares in Grupa LOTOS S.A. by the State Treasury
<1m ago ATLAS DEVELOPMENT & SUPPORT SERVICES : Update on Kenyan Private Placement
<1m ago Low Volatility-Oriented U.S. Large Cap Stocks Outperformed U.S. Large Cap Value, Quality & Momentum Stocks Year-to-Date, While Momentum Took the Reins Since October 15; Russell High Efficiency(TM) Factor Indexes
<1m ago Teachers Explore New Online Learning Environment for World Languages at ACTFL
1m ago UPLAND SOFTWARE : Announces Acquisition of Solution Q
1m ago UPLAND SOFTWARE : Announces Acquisition of Solution Q
2m ago PATRIOT GOLD : Bruner Project Drilling Uncovers New Gold Zone at Paymaster Target Area with High Grade Intercepts
3m ago EARTHPORT : Wins Payments Innovation Award; The cross-border payments specialist celebrates success at the FStech/Retail Systems Payments Awards 2014
3m ago PHILLIPS 66 PARTNERS : and Paradigm Energy Partners Announce Midstream Logistics Joint Ventures
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
SNOOZEBOX : Providing Temporary Hotel For Premier Oil
TCP CAPITAL : Announces Pricing Of Public Offering Of Common Shares
MOL GLOBAL : ATTENTION MOL GLOBAL SHAREHOLDERS: Shareholder Rights Law Firm Johnson & Weaver, LLP Announces Investigation of MOL Global, Inc.
NEW YORK MORTGAGE : Announces Pricing of Public Offering of Common Stock
ENDURANCE HLDGS : International Group Prices Public Offering of 13,000,000 Shares of Common Stock
Most Read News
1d ago MORGAN STANLEY : Oil Price Plunge Tells Morgan Stanley OPEC Action Is More Likely
1d ago DTE ENERGY : announces expansion in Bluestone system
10h ago HONDA MOTOR : Japan's transport ministry tells Takata to investigate air bag issue
1d ago Under Senate glare, Goldman rejects commodity manipulation
1d ago Takata executive warns about ability to fix deadly air bag flaw
Most recommended articles
6m ago Valeant slashes stake in Allergan after losing bid
9m ago Global M&A lending hits post-crisis high
9m agoDJEUROPE MARKETS : European Stocks Enjoy China, Draghi Economic-policy Pop
13m agoDJVictory for Anti-EU Party Shows Cracks in U.K. Politics--Update
13m ago ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND : says it barely passed EU stress test, admits error
Dynamic quotes  
ON
| OFF