Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Stocks finished the month of May on a cheerful note, shrugging off a spate of weak economic data as investors approved a new bailout plan for Greece. In spite of weaker readings on home prices, regional manufacturing and consumer confidence, all but one of the 30 Dow components and all 10 sectors of the S&P 500 were in positive territory. Tech and health-care stocks led the gains, with Pfizer adding 2.5%, Cisco Systems up 2.1% and Merck adding 1.5%. DJIA +128.21 Nasdaq +38.44 S&P 500 +14.10.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Stocks snapped a three-session losing streak as investors rode a boost in commodities prices to snap up shares of energy, materials and industrial companies. Leading the climb were stocks aligned to global growth. Caterpillar gained 1.7%, while DuPont added 1.8%, and Alcoa rose 1.4%. The gains came as precious metals and other commodities rose. Stocks spent much of the morning in negative territory after a weak economic reading and dispiriting results from some companies, but turned positive after credit-ratings firm Fitch Ratings said it doesn't foresee any ratings actions on German banks as a result of their exposure to Greece. DJIA +38.45 Nasdaq +15.22 S&P 500 +4.19.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Stocks registered a third consecutive day of losses after manufacturing data combined with worries about Europe's debt-laden countries continued to weigh on investor sentiment. On the economic front, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond said manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region is contracting this month after seven months of expansion. The service sector also slowed, but remained in expansion. Worries about Europe still lingered today. Moody's Investors Services warned that a Greek debt restructuring could affect the credit ratings of other European governments and could lead to rating downgrades for Greek banks. DJIA -25.05 Nasdaq -12.74 S&P 500 -1.09.
Monday, May 23, 2011
U.S. stocks plummeted as investors' concerns over the financial health of European governments triggered a flight to safer assets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.1%, with all but one component, McDonald's, in the red. Technology and energy stocks led the Standard & Poor's to slump 1.2%. The technology-oriented Nasdaq lost 1.6%. In the absence of major U.S. earnings reports or economic data, investors focused on negative headlines from Europe, including a Standard & Poor's outlook cut on Italian debt and regional election losses for Spain's ruling Socialist party. DJIA -130.78 Nasdaq -44.42 S&P 500 -15.90.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Stocks snapped a three-day losing streak today as the Federal Reserve's minutes showed central-bank officials are in no hurry to tighten monetary policy even as they held detailed exit-strategy talks. Federal Reserve officials appeared to agree that letting the central bank's balance sheet slowly shrink was likely to be the first step toward tightening monetary policy. Nevertheless, they aren't ready to start executing the plan until they are sure the economy can bear it. Caterpillar, Chevron and Exxon Mobil helped power the Dow Jones Industrial Average up .7%. The Standard & Poor's rise was led by the materials and energy sectors. DJIA +80.60 Nasdaq +31.79 S&P 500 +11.70.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Markets turned lower as investors, spooked by weak U.S. economic data, ditched assets that have value tied to a robust recovery. The drops were touched off by data that showed a slowdown in the auto industry caused U.S. manufacturing production to fall in April for the first time in 10 months. Overall industrial production was flat, with the weak manufacturing sector canceling out gains in mining and utilities production. Tomorrow, the Fed will release minutes from its latest policy-making meeting, which is renewing the market's focus on the end of the central bank's program to spur the recovery. DJIA -68.79 Nasdaq +.90 S&P 500 -.49.
Monday, May 16, 2011
The technology sector and consumer-discretionary sectors led stocks lower as weak economic data spurred worries of a softening economy and Europe's debt crisis weighed on investor sentiment. Investors said a New York-area manufacturing survey that was well below expectations underscored the uneven state of the economy, while a weak housing index showed continued stress in that market. Technology and consumer-discretionary shares are often among the first to be hit when consumers and businesses tighten their belts. DJIA -47.38 Nasdaq -46.16 S&P 500 -8.30.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The energy sector pulled stocks lower, with the S&P 500 posting its biggest one-day point and percentage drop in two months, as crude oil prices tumbled. The energy sector was the biggest weight on the market, with Chevron losing 2% and Exxon Mobil shedding 2.1%. Crude oil prices fell as data pointed to a bigger-than-expected increase in crude inventories. DJIA -130.33 Nasdaq -26.83 S&P 500 -15.08.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Stocks continued their advance today as investors drew encouragement from Microsoft's $8.5 billion deal for Skype Technologies and from signs of strength in the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up .6%, its biggest point and percentage gain in nearly two weeks. Microsoft's deal for Skype boosted hopes for further consolidation among technology companies, although the Windows maker's stock shed 16 cents after announcing its most expensive deal ever. Stocks stayed higher after data showed U.S. wholesalers stockpiled goods in March as sales rose strongly, suggesting some improvement in an economy that slowed early this year. DJIA +75.68 Nasdaq +28.64 S&P 500 +10.87.
Monday, May 09, 2011
Stocks climbed today as commodity prices recovered from last week's slump and a burst of deal activity helped overshadow concerns over Greek finances. McDonald's boosted the Dow, gaining .8%, after its same-store sales rose 6% in April - the biggest monthly increase since October. Aluminum giant Alcoa was also strong, rising 2.2%, as metals commodities climbed. DJIA +45.94 Nasdaq +15.69 S&P 500 +6.09.
Thursday, May 05, 2011
The energy sector led stocks lower as crude-oil prices tumbled and jobs data disappointed. Crude settled below $100 a barrel, off 8.6% for the day. This weighed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average's energy components, with Exxon Mobil shedding 2.6% and Chevron losing 2%. The tumble in crude came as investors rushed to the safety of the dollar after data showed new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly surged last week to the highest level since August. DJIA -139.41 Nasdaq -13.51 S&P 500 -12.22.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Stocks retreated under pressure from disappointing economic data, weaker commodity prices and lackluster earnings reports. As far as economic data goes, the Institute for Supply Management's index of nonmanufacturing activity for April came in below expectations. Automatic Data Processing reported that private-sector jobs in the U.S. rose 179,000 in April, missing economists' forecast. The government will release its monthly employment report on Friday. Several companies reported disappointing earnings, which also weighed on shares. DJIA -83.93 Nasdaq -13.39 S&P 500 -9.30.