Member access

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 

U.S. Stocks Hold Declines Midday on Growth Worries, Fed Concerns

02/21/2013 | 01:24pm US/Eastern

--Stocks hold declines midday; DJIA down 53, S&P falls eight points

--Euro-zone economic weakness, Philadelphia Fed report weight on stocks

--Nine of 10 S&P sectors fall; growth-sensitive materials, energy stocks lag

 
   By Alexandra Scaggs 
 

NEW YORK--U.S. stocks slipped as investors were jarred by reports indicating a surprise decline in conditions for mid-Atlantic manufacturers and euro-zone economic weakness.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53 points, or 0.4%, to 13875, extending Wednesday's declines. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index gave up eight points, or 0.6%, to 1503, as nine of 10 sectors traded in the red, with growth-sensitive materials and energy sectors lagging. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 26 points, or 0.8%, to 3138.

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 multi-asset strategies at ING U.S. Investment Management, which oversees about $170 billion.

Stocks extended their declines after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's February index of business activity, a read of business conditions for manufacturers in the region, posted a surprise decline to -12.5 from January's -5.8.

"The fact that we are seeing evidence of a continuing slowdown in the manufacturing sector is a bit concerning," said Jim Baird, chief investment strategist for Plante Moran Financial Advisors, which oversees $7.2 billion in assets.

Separately, 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.

Existing home sales for January showed a slight increase to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.92 million, mostly in line with expectations. The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index for January gained 0.2%, just below expectations of a 0.3% rise.

Wal-Mart gained 3.2% after the blue-chip discount retailer reported earnings that topped analyst estimates, helping offset a first-quarter earnings outlook that was below current analyst projections.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1.4% on disappointing euro-zone data. 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 2.9% and Germany's DAX slid 1.9%.

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 declined 0.1% to a several-month low of $1,576.90 a troy ounce. Crude-oil futures lost 2.2% to $93.12 a barrel. Yields on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 1.974% as prices rose.

Tesla Motors skidded 10% 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.

Dow component Hewlett-Packard nudged 0.4% higher ahead of fiscal first-quarter results after the closing bell.

Carlyle Group slumped 7.3% after it missed analyst estimates for its earnings and revenue. The private-equity firm recorded lower performance fees on top of an investment loss.

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 10% after the business process-management company reported much better-than-expected earnings and revenue, and provided a 2013 outlook that was above current projections.

Hormel Foods rose 0.7% after it reported fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue that were in line 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

Latest news
Date Title
20m ago DEV : Announces Ku-Band Contract
21m ago OIL & NATURAL GAS : ONGC adopts Jantar Mantar under 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'
21m ago SONY : reports 1.2bn dollars net loss in Q2 as mobile business takes a hit
23m ago DEUTSCHE LUFTHANSA : German pilots won't strike during negotiations with Lufthansa: Focus
26m ago CARLYLE : Illinois Teachers trustees approve $1 billion in asset moves
26m ago WESTJET AIRLINES : Winter won't go away, but Winnipegers can
26m ago B/E AEROSPACE : Announces Inducement Grant to New CFO Under NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4)
26m ago CORTS TR WEYERHAUSER CTF CLASS A : Kimberly-Clark Completes Health Care Spin-Off
27m ago MICROSOFT : Overhauls Outlook for Mac, Promises Word, PowerPoint and Excel in 2015
27m ago REALPAGE : rejects near-$2bn offer from Vista
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
BANCO ESPIRITO SANTO : Angola brings oil firm Sonangol into local BES bank
1SPATIAL : Interim Results for the six month period ended 31 July 2014
ULS TECHNOLOGY : Plunges As Improved Results Still Won't Meet Forecasts
REGIONAL MANAGEMENT : NYSE stocks posting largest percentage decreases
OPLINK COMMUNICATIONS : posts 1Q profit
Most Read News
1d ago J.P. MORGAN FOUND HACKERS THROUGH BREACH OF CORPORATE EVENT WEBSITE : media
1d ago GRUPO CARSO DE C V : Mexico could help realise Central America economic plan - ministry
1d ago EXCLUSIVE - U.S. PROBING STANDARD CHARTERED OVER DUBAI BANKING : sources
1d ago NETFLIX : Amazon hits back in on-demand TV war with Netflix: Comedy drama Transparent hailed as internet service's answer to House of Cards
1d ago Herbalife to pay $15 million to settle class action lawsuit
Most recommended articles
23m ago DEUTSCHE LUFTHANSA : German pilots won't strike during negotiations with Lufthansa: Focus
40m ago Rocket Internet IPO propped up by underwriting bank - filing
2h ago CARLOS SLIM : KPN's America Movil board member sells part of KPN stake
2h ago Meyer Burger CEO says no current plans to raise more capital - paper
4h agoDJChina Manufacturing Falls to Five Month Low -- 2nd Update
Dynamic quotes  
ON
| OFF