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Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report painted a dismal picture of the economic recovery, compounding worries that the much-expected revival is facing headwinds. A weak report on durable goods orders further disappointed investors who had no reason to rejoice in Boeing’s lackluster quarterly numbers either. Indexes dropped as stocks sold off.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped nearly 38 points, snapping its four-day winning run. The tech-laden Nasdaq composite index gave up more than 1%. The S&P 500 index, however, maintained its perch above the key 1100 mark even as it fell 0.7%. On the New York Stock Exchange, declining shares beat those that advanced in price by a two-to-one margin on volume of 1 billion shares.
Today’s stock futures suggest a moderate rebound after yesterday’s losses. Strong earnings reports from some of the big Wall Street names have sent the futures up at least 0.5%. Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 54 points, or 0.5%, to 10,502. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are up 6.80 points, or 0.6%, to 1,108.90, while Nasdaq 100 index futures are up 9.25 points, or 0.5%, to 1,879.00.
Losses were broad based yesterday, with nine of the ten S&P500 industry sectors closing in the red. Health care (-1.4%), technology (-1.1%), financials (-1.1%) led the declining sectors, followed by consumer goods (-0.9%), utilities (-0.8%), basic materials (-0.6%), industrials (-0.5%), consumer services (-0.5%), and oil and gas (-0.3%). Only Telecommunications shares managed a 0.4% gain.
Crude prices fell 19 cents to $76.80 after the Department of Energy’s weekly stockpile report showed a greater-than-expected 7.3 million inventory build, pushing up supply concerns. Traditional safe havens such as Treasuries gained in price; the price of the 10-year rose 15/32 as its yield dropped to 2.996%; gold prices advanced $2.80 to $1163.90.
Today's earnings calendar sees major names coming out with their earnings, including Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL), ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Kellogg (NYSE:K), MetLife (NYSE:MET), Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC), Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A), and Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC).
Mergers & acquisitions front witnessed activity yesterday, with Avis Budget (NYSE:CAR) offering $46.50, with $39.25 in cash and 0.6543 shares of Avis stock, for a $1.33 billion bid for Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (NYSE:DTG), rivaling a prior offer of $41 per share in cash and stock from Hertz (NYSE:HTZ). Reports suggested Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY) is authorised to take its offer for Genzyme (NASDAQ:GENZ) to $70 per share, or about $18.7 billion. Panasonic (NYSE:PC) said it plans to spend more than $9 billion to take full control of its Sanyo Electric and Panasonic Electric Works units. According to reports, a private equity firm American Securities is planning to make an offer for California Pizza Kitchen (NASDAQ:CPKI).
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