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Thursday, June 30, 2011
U.S. stocks climbed today for a fourth straight day of gains, as encouraging Chicago-area economic data and a pledge from German banks to support heavily indebted Greece boosted investor sentiment as the second quarter came to a close. More clarity pertaining to Greece has prompted a swift rally this week. German banks agreed today to take part in a new aid program for Greece by accepting longer maturities for bonds that currently are due by 2014, helping the country avoid a default. Also boosting sentiment, a survey of Chicago-area purchasing managers beat economists' expectations handily. The strong figure contrasted with several weeks of tepid economic data. DJIA +152.92 Nasdaq +33.03 S&P 500 +13.23.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
U.S. stocks advanced today as investors cheered a Greek austerity package and financial stocks jumped following a major settlement on mortgage-backed securities. Bank of America climbed 3% and other big banks gained ground after BofA reached an $8.5 billion settlement on investor claims over securities purchased before the U.S. housing-market collapse. In U.S. economic data, the number of people who signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes rose last month, though the figures were still low from a historical perspective. DJIA +72.73 Nasdaq +11.18 S&P 500 +10.74.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The energy and consumer-discretionary sectors led a broad rally in U.S. stocks today, as investors warmed to riskier assets amid signs of progress in Greece's debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.21% for the measure's biggest one-day gain since April 20. Caterpillar led blue-chips with a gain of 3%. McDonald's rose 2.5% and Home Depot added 2.4%. A mixed batch of U.S. economic data showed that U.S. home prices rose in April from a month earlier, the first increase in eight months. But a June consumer-confidence reading was slightly lower than May's, disappointing expectations. DJIA +145.13 Nasdaq +41.03 S&P 500 +16.57.
Monday, June 27, 2011
U.S. stocks soared, rebounding from three days of losses, as the technology sector surged and financial stocks jumped on banking capital requirements that were less oppressive than expected. Microsoft, a Dow component, jumped 4.4%. The software giant is expected to introduce a cloud version of its Office application this week. Today's moves came after international regulators agreed to require the world's largest banks to hold an extra layer of financial padding. The agreement will force global banks that are considered too-big-to-fail to maintain capital cushions that are significantly thicker than other institutions. Still, investors and analysts found solace that the capital requirements don't appear to be as burdensome as originally feared. DJIA +108.98 Nasdaq +35.39 S&P 500 +11.65.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
U.S. stocks erased most of their steep early losses as traders took action on reports that European leaders had reached a breakthrough on a Greek austerity plan. Investors had no shortage of negative headlines earlier in the session. A day after the Fed downgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy, oil shares tumbled when the IEA said 60 million barrels of oil would be released from emergency supplies in what it described as a necessary stopgap for lost Libyan oil exports. After slumping all session, major indexes shot up after a Greek official said the country had agreed with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union on a five-year austerity plan. DJIA -59.67 Nasdaq +17.56 S&P 500 -3.64.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
U.S. stocks snapped a four-day winning streak, stumbling in late trading after the Federal Reserve issued a cautious economic outlook just days before it ends its asset-buying program. The markets started the day in negative territory, climbed to a modest gain then fell again after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke wrapped up an afternoon news conference. In its post-meeting statement, the Fed downgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy's performance, but gave no indication it intends to take new steps to boost growth and jobs. Instead, officials said they are sticking with plans to end the purchase of $600 billion in U.S. Treasurys on June 30 and to keep short-term interest rates near zero. DJIA -80.34 Nasdaq -18.07 S&P 500 -8.38.
Monday, June 20, 2011
A pledge by European leaders to head off a Greek debt default helped investors push U.S. stocks higher, as the market's sovereign-debt jitters eased notably today. Stocks found their footing as European Union leaders expressed confidence at a meeting in Luxembourg that Greece will concede on economic reforms in order to release the next installment of aid, avoiding a default. The action follows the end of a six-week losing streak for U.S. stocks on Friday. The losing streak has left the Nasdaq Composite in negative territory for the year and sapped other major indexes of much of this year's advance. DJIA +76.02 Nasdaq +13.18 S&P 500 +6.86.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
U.S. blue-chip stocks rose today, but other measures lagged behind as risk-averse investors dumped materials and technology shares. Stocks seesawed for much of the session as batches of mixed economic data and fraying nerves over the Greek-debt situation competed for investors' attention. Reports that U.S. home construction rose modestly in May and initial jobless claims dropped more than expected cheered investors early in the session. But stocks briefly turned negative mid-morning following a discouraging reading on mid-Atlantic manufacturing activity. DJIA +64.25 Nasdaq -7.76 S&P 500 +2.22.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
U.S. stocks tumbled as fears of contagion around a Greek default picked up, adding more pessimism to a foreboding mix of U.S. economic data. Greek fears intensified after euro-zone officials failed to make progress on discussions about Greek aid and protests against austerity measures turned violent in Athens. Also driving stocks lower were more gloomy snapshots on the domestic economy. A reading of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell below zero for the first time since last November, dropping 20 points from May. Meanwhile core inflation last month posted its biggest gain in nearly 3 years. DJIA -178.84 Nasdaq -47.26 S&P 500 -22.45.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
U.S. stocks rose sharply, aided by a strong industrial production report from China and a reading on U.S. retail sales that wasn't as bad as economists had expected. Home Depot led the blue-chip index higher, advancing 3.8%, while Caterpillar rose 2.5%, and Boeing gained 2.8%. Investor sentiment turned more cheerful after the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales dropped only .2% last month, smaller than the .6% decline economists had expected. At the same time, a strong industrial production report from China suggests that the world's No. 2 economy is still robust, despite a tighter monetary policy aimed at curbing inflation. DJIA +123.14 Nasdaq +39.03 S&P 500 +16.04.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Sharp losses for the energy sector erased much of the morning gains for U.S. stocks, as worries of weaker U.S. energy demand sapped the optimism following today's corporate buyouts. Chevron fell 1.2% and Exxon Mobil declined .7% as the price of oil slid below $97 per barrel. Traders said high inventory and a weak U.S. demand outlook spurred a midday oil selloff. Traders also said jitters over the health of the U.S. economy that have dominated market action for weeks continued today, even though a burst of deal-making helped set a more positive tone early in the session. DJIA +1.06 Nasdaq -4.04 S&P 500 +.85.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Another dose of anguish about the global economic recovery sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the first close below 12000 since mid-March, capping the blue-chip index's longest weekly slump since 2002. This marks the Dow's sixth straight week of declines. Investors were glum after U.S. May import prices showed a surprise gain of .2%, hinting at an inflation push coming into the U.S. from abroad. DJIA -172.45 Nasdaq -41.14 S&P 500 -18.02.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Stocks climbed today, as investors looked to break a six-day losing streak. Leading the gainers were material and energy stocks, with DuPont rising 2%, Chevron gaining 1.8%, 3M advancing 1.6%, and Caterpillar up 1.5%. Financial stocks, the worst performer so far this week, bounced back strongly as well. Pushing on the upside was an unexpected contraction in the U.S. trade deficit in April, to its lowest level of the year, as exports hit a new high and purchases of oil fell sharply amid a surge in prices. DJIA +75.42 Nasdaq +9.49 S&P 500 +9.44.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Stocks dropped for a fifth straight day as investors turned downbeat late in the session following comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 19 points or .2%. The blue-chip index had risen earlier in the session as much as 89 points. The late-day reversal came after Mr. Bernanke said the U.S. economy should pick back up in the second half of 2011 despite recent signs of weakness. He also added the recovery, two years after the end of the recession, remains "uneven, and conditions-particularly in the labor market-remain troubled." DJIA -19.15 Nasdaq -1.00 S&P 500 -1.23.
Friday, June 03, 2011
U.S. stocks closed in the red, making this the fifth straight weekly decline as a dismal jobs report added to the drumbeat of investor concerns about a slowing economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell .79%, led lower by drops in Alcoa and DuPont. The government's jobs report showed hiring by U.S. companies slowed markedly in May, while the unemployment report kept rising. The Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls rose by 54,000 last month as the private sector posted the smallest job gain in nearly a year. The jobless rate, which is obtained from a separate household survey, unexpectedly rose to 9.1% in May. DJIA -97.29 Nasdaq -40.53 S&P 500 -12.78.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Investors stepped back from big positions in stocks ahead of a closely watched jobs report Friday, with major indexes bobbing between gains and losses during afternoon trading. Wal-Mart Stores led blue chips lower as it shed 1.6%. The S&P 500 shed almost two points with consumer staples leading decliners. The tech-oriented Nasdaq Composite gained fractionally. A confluence of weak readings on the U.S. economy and lingering worries over the financial health of some European governments have weighed on sentiment this week. Discouraging signs on unemployment, softness in manufacturing and a continued slump in housing have predominated. DJIA -41.59 Nasdaq +4.12 S&P 500 -1.61.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Stocks plunged today after a slew of downbeat reports prompted fears the economic recovery was running out of steam. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost nearly 280 points, its biggest point drop since June of 2010. The S&P 500 fell 2.3%, dragged down by the financial and material sectors. The trading session began on a negative note after several economic data points weighed on sentiment. Concerns about unemployment arose after a reading on private-sector job growth came in well below economists' expectations, fueling anxiety on Wall Street about the government's monthly jobs report on Friday. DJIA -279.65 Nasdaq -66.11 S&P 500 -30.65.