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President Barack Obama’s encouraging comments on the Fiscal Cliff issue and positive factory orders data guided Dow and S&P 500 into the green. But a slump in Apple’s shares dragged Nasdaq into negative territory. Apple recorded its worst one-day performance since 2008. Meanwhile, factory orders increased modestly in October. The financial sector was a major gainer among the S&P 500 industry groups.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.6% to close the day at 13,034.49. The Standard & Poor 500 (S&P 500) rose 0.2% to finish yesterday’s trading session at 1,409.28. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.8% to end at 2,973.70. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) lost 3.9% to settle at 16.46. Consolidated volumes on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were roughly 6.93 billion shares, higher than the daily average of 6.48 billion shares. Advancing stocks edged past decliners on the NYSE; as for 50% stocks that rose, 46% stocks moved lower.
A large number of stocks ended higher after declining for two consecutive days. President Obama’s comments about the Fiscal Cliff pushed stocks higher in the afternoon. In a volatile trading session, the S&P 500 had dropped into negative territory initially but rebounded in the later part of the day. The Dow gained as much as 137 points before ending the session with a gain of 82 points.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) tumbled 6.4% and recorded its worst day in four years. Apple plunged after COR Clearing increased the iPhone maker’s margin requirement to 60% from 30%. Apple’s market capitalization reduced by nearly $35 billion and it was the biggest one-day market capitalization loss ever for the tech giant.
The Technology SPDR (XLK) was negatively affected due to this. Stocks such as SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) lost 1.2%, 0.5%, 0.6% and 1.1%, respectively. Thus, tech-heavy Nasdaq remained the solitary benchmark to miss a seat in the positive zone.
President Barack Obama met corporate chief executives on Wednesday to discuss the Fiscal Cliff issue. Speaking to corporate chief executives on the fiscal cliff issue, Obama said: “We can probably solve this in about a week, it's not that tough.” However, he again emphasized increasing tax rates of rich Americans. Congress needs to seal a deal about the Fiscal Cliff issue, otherwise it might result in another recession. The Fiscal Cliff is about to take effect in less than four weeks.
Meanwhile, factory orders increased modestly in October. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, factory orders gained 0.8% to $477.6 billion in October, beating consensus estimates of a break even figure. Shipments gained 0.4% to $482.3 billion, whereas unfilled orders gained 0.3% to $982.9 billion. Orders for inventories have risen for four consecutive months, gaining 0.1% to $616.0 billion in October.
Automatic Data Processing’s (NASDAQ:ADP) National Employment report revealed that the U.S. private sector added 118,000 jobs in November compared to 158,000 in October. This was below the Street’s estimates. According to the report, large businesses added 66,000 jobs, while small and medium businesses added 19,000 and 33,000 jobs, respectively. The service sector added 114,000 jobs, whereas goods sector accounted for 4,000 more jobs. Professional/business services and construction industry added 16,000 and 23,000 jobs, respectively. However, the manufacturing industry reported a decline of 16,000 jobs.
Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) jumped 6.3% after the company said it will layoff 11,000 employee to lower expenses and improve efficiency. The company expects to save more than $1.1 billion. The news pushed the banking shares higher and the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) gained 1.2%. Stocks such as Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) surged 5.7%, 0.5%, 1.6% and 2.2%, respectively.