Member access

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 

U.S. Stocks on Track for Second Day of Declines

02/21/2013 | 04:10pm US/Eastern

--U.S. stocks look set to notch a second day of declines

--Eight S&P sectors decline, with technology and materials leading the drop

--DJIA falls 29 points after posting second-biggest drop of the year Wednesday

 
   By Alexandra Scaggs 
 

NEW YORK--Major U.S. stock benchmarks declined Thursday as a pair of sour economic readings piled on top of investor worries about a possible earlier-than-expected end to central-bank stimulus, though the blue chips retreated from their session lows in afternoon trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 29 points, or 0.2%, to 13899. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index gave up seven points, or 0.5%, to 1505, as eight of its 10 sectors traded in the red, led by growth-sensitive technology and materials shares. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index lost 30 points, or 1%, to 3134.

The Dow industrials' Thursday declines were muted after they posted their second-biggest drop of the year Wednesday. Investors were jarred by the potential for an earlier-than-expected end to the Fed's experimental bond-buying programs, known as quantitative easing.

Easing "has been the source of a significant boost for the equity markets," said Natalie Trunow, chief investment officer for equities with Calvert Investments, which oversees $12 billion. "The follow-through [selling] today was on the realization that there is an end to it at some point."

Stocks extended their declines after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's February index of business activity, an indicator of business conditions for manufacturers in the region, posted a surprise deterioration 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 manages $7.2 billion in assets.

Separately, initial claims for unemployment 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, but increased by 0.3% excluding volatile food and energy costs.

Sales of existing homes for January showed a slight increase to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.92 million, which was 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 1.7% after the blue-chip discount retailer reported earnings that exceeded analysts' estimates, helping to offset a first-quarter earnings outlook that was below analyst projections.

The broader market's losses in U.S. stocks were more modest than declines in overseas markets.

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1.5% in response to disappointing economic news for the euro zone. Markit's preliminary composite purchasing-managers' index for the currency bloc 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 3.1% 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 sank against the yen.

Asian markets also suffered steep declines, highlighted by a 3% tumble in China's Shanghai Composite, the biggest percentage decline since November 2011. Exacerbating worries about the Fed easing up on its stimulus program, China's State Council said Wednesday 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%.

Front-month gold futures for February delivery were mostly flat, at $1578.20 a troy ounce. Front-month crude-oil futures for April delivery lost 2.5% to $92.84 a barrel. Yields on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to settle at 1.977% as prices rose.

Tesla Motors skidded 8.5% after the electric-car maker reported a wider-than-anticipated fourth-quarter loss and revenue that rose less than expected. Gross margin narrowed sharply.

Apple edged slightly lower, losing 0.6%, after Greenlight Capital founder David Einhorn detailed a plan for the technology company to return more cash to shareholders, a move he has been pressing the company to make in recent weeks.

Carlyle Group slumped 7.6% after it missed analyst estimates for its earnings and revenue. The private-equity firm recorded lower performance fees and recorded an investment loss.

VeriFone Systems tumbled 43% after the electronic-payments company indicated 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.

Hormel Foods rose 1.3% after the company reported fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue 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

React to this article
Latest news
Date Title
05:17a INTEL : Patent Issued for Communication and Control System Using Location Aware Devices for Producing Notification Messages Operating under Rule-Based Control
05:17a COVIDIEN : Reports First-Quarter 2015 Results
05:17a XEROX : Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Flexible Imaging Members Having Externally Plasticized Imaging Layer(S)", for Approval
05:17a SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY INTERNATNL : Findings from M. Delahaye and Colleagues Update Understanding of Information Software Technology (Infeasible path generalization in dynamic symbolic...
05:17a DATA SYST : Studies from Georgia State University in the Area of Data Mining Described (A Parallel Matrix-Based Method for Computing Approximations in Incomplete...
05:17a ANGLE : Posts Widened First-Half Loss On Parsortix Investment
05:16a NORTHCOTE ENERGY : Appointment of Broker
05:15a Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Image Compression Apparatus and Method", for Approval
05:15a "Aerated Compositions Containing Egg Albumen Protein and Hydrophobin" in Patent Application Approval Process
05:15a Patent Issued for Methods and Apparatus for Supporting Sharing of Privileges in a Peer to Peer System
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
NEXT FIFTEEN COMMUNICATIONS : Raises GBP4.3 Million, To Beat Expectations (ALLISS)
BEOWULF MINING : Says Kallak North Decision Expected In Late February
FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR : Studies from Freescale Semiconductor Yield New Data on Nuclear Science and Technology (Single-Event Transient Induced Harmonic Errors in Digitally...
EVONIK : Improved Performance of JAYHAWK™ BTDA® Products
VMWARE : Rejigs top management
Most Read News
03:30a UK MORNING BRIEFING : Royal Dutch Shell Leads London Losses
01/28 SCHRODERS : raises fees on £1bn Corporate Bond fund
01/28 CANACOL ENERGY : Tests 21 MMSCFPD at Clarinete 1 Gas Discovery in Colombia
01/28 SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS : Qualcomm says key customer passed on new chip, stock drops
01/28 Qualcomm says key customer passed on new chip, stock drops
Most recommended articles
05:12a Raiffeisen reassures on capital position, shares rise
05:12aDJRoyal Dutch Shell Posts Rise in Profit -- 2nd Update
05:12aDJEnergy Sector Selloff Weighs Down on European Stocks--Update
05:10aDJCrude-Oil Futures Volatile -- Update
05:08a Apple takes top gifting spot in China - report
Dynamic quotes  
ON
| OFF