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Bad Retail Sales Numbers Destroy Early Rally


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

Markets were roughly flat today following two days of losses.

The S&P 500 and DJIA finished down fractionally today. The NASDAQ rose 1.1% as big-cap tech stocks finished higher. Cybersecurity stocks performed particularly well.

The market-leading biotech sector fell hard, with the S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) finishing down 0.7%. The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (IBB) fared slightly better with an 0.3% loss due to strength in some major names like Gilead (GILD).

In US economnic news, tetail sales numbers came in below expectations for the fourth month in a row this morning, extinguising an early rally in SPX and NDX futures. The news also sent the dollar sharply lower against the euro.

Bond yields also jumped, hurting utility stocks.

Oil prices rose after an unexpected large draw, but later fell during the day as data from the International Energy Agency showed that major oil producers are continuing to ramp up production. While US crude oil inventories fell by an unexpected 2.2 million barrels for the week ended May 8, Saudi Arabia announced that it produced a record 103 million barrels per day in April.

Mobileye (MBLY) shares rallied on a Wall Street Journal article stating that Tesla (TSLA) will be implementing its semiautonomous components in new Model S sedans. The company's products are already being used in vehicles from BMW, General Motors (GM), and Ford (F).

Air and water-filter maker Pall Corp (PNN) will be acquired by Danaher Corp (DHR) for $13.8 billion in a deal announced this morning. The new company will be split into two entities. The company retaining the Danaher name will combine Danaher's and Pall Corp's life sciences and diagnostics, dental, water quality and product identification businesses. The other will work on industrials.

Delta Airlines (DAL) announced a new $5 billion share buyback program, and boosted its quarterly dividend to 13.5 cents from 9 cents. The company's CEO Richard Anderson also told CNBC that airlines fees are not going away. Shares closed up 1.5%

European markets were up after positive economic data showed strength in France and Italy and Bond yields fell.

Chinese markets finished down this morning after factory output and retail sales data came in below expectations. China's investment growth rate fell to its lowest in 15 years. The miss has investors hoping for more stimulus from the People's Bank of China.

Other Asian markets finished up. Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.7%.
Thursday's Financial Outlook

For US economic news, we have continuing claims, initial jobless claims, PPI, Revisions for Factory Orders, and EIA Natural Gas numbers

Overseas, Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda will speak in Tokyo, and Japan will announce Machine Tool Orders. Canada will announce its new Housing Price Index.

For earnings reports, before the open, we have Constellium (CSTM), Kohl's (KSS), QIWI (QIWI), and VWR Corp (VWR). After the close, we'll be hearing from Applied Materials (AMAT), China Lodging (ANET), Nordstrom (JWN), and Symantec (SYMC).
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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