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August 13, 2009 -- 16:20 ET Dow +36.58 at 9398.19, Nasdaq +10.63 at 2009.35, S&P +6.92 at 1012.75:
Moving the Market:
Wal-Mart beats Street expectations, issues in-line guidance. July advance retail sales disappoint, while import prices slide more than expected in July, and weekly jobless claims climb more than expected, but continuing claims make surprise drop. Business inventories for June retreat more than expected. Auction of 30-year Treasuries shows strong results.
diversified financial services; diversified metals and mining; gold; advertising; health care tech; oil and gas drillers; regional banks; steel.
auto retailers; broadcasting; consumer electronics; publishing and printing; home furnishing; internet retailershotels; trucking.
08/13/09 16:20 ET Dow +36.58 at 9398.19, Nasdaq +10.63 at 2009.35, S&P +6.92 at 1012.75:
[BRIEFING.COM] Unexpected economic growth out of Germany and France helped set a positive tone this morning, but a generally disappointing batch of U.S. economic data undermined the bias, leaving stocks to trade with modest gains for most of the session.
News that the German and French economies both exceeded expectations by posting second quarter growth of 0.3% brought about broad-based buying overseas and propped up U.S. stocks ahead of the opening bell. However, the positive bias was dialed down following news that the latest round of initial jobless claims were greater than expected at 558,000. That hiked the 4-week moving average up to 565,000 from 556,500. Meanwhile, continuing claims made a larger-than-expected retreat to 6.20 million, but the drop is most likely from unemployed workers losing their benefits.
Total retail sales for July made an unexpected 0.1% decline and sales less autos fell a sharper-than-expected 0.6%. That, combined with elevated jobless claims totals, pressured shares of retailers. However, Wal-Mart's (WMT 51.88, +1.37) better-than-expected earnings and outlook provided support to the group and helped it finish 0.3% higher.
With consumers still hesitant to open purse strings, demand for imports remains soft. With that, July import prices fell for their first time since January by declining a steeper-than-expected 0.7% month-over-month. Despite the persistently weak state of things, stocks were able to close near their best levels of the session.
Materials stocks made the best gains, helping the sector advance 2.1%. Steel (+3.0%) and diversified metals and miners players (+4.8%) were underpinned the sector's strength.
Financials were key in the broader market's strong close. The sector tacked on 2.0% amid buying in Bank of America (BAC 17.00, +1.07), which benefited from news that insiders are accumulating positions in the stock and that Paulson & Co. disclosed new positions in the stock. Shares of BAC were among the most active by trading volume this session, though trading volume in the broader market was exceptionally low with fewer than 1 billion shares trading hands on the NYSE.
Defensive-oriented sectors trailed for the entire session. Telecom and utilities both settled 0.2% lower, while health care advanced just 0.1%. Collective weakness among defensive issues actually dragged the broader market into the red in the early going, but buyers quickly stepped in to provide support.
Treasuries made strong gains following a $15 billion auction of 30-year Treasury Bonds. The auction produced a high yield of 4.54% and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.54, which was above the average of 2.32 for the previous five auctions for 2009. That encouraged enough buying to send the benchmark 10-year Note up nearly one full point and the Note's yield back below 3.6%.
Nasdaq +10.63 at 2009.35... S&P Midcap 400 +0.8... NYSE Adv/Dec 1999/1043... Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1495/1209.
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Weekly & Daily Stock Earnings Calendar:
Blockbuster BBI 8/13 4pm
Cardica CRDC 8/13 4pm
Abercrombie & Fitich ANF 8/14 8am
Trina Solar TSL 8/17 4pm
Home Depot HD 8/18 8am
Solarfun Power SOLF 8/18 8am
Target TGT 8/18 8am
Hewlett Packard HPQ 8/18 4pm
Deere DE 8/19 8am
Yingli Green Energy YGE 8/19 8am