Updated: 08-29-2014

The Market at 04:15PM ET
Dow: +18.88… | Nasdaq: +22.58… | S&P: +6.63…
NASDAQ Vol: 1.22 bln… Adv: 1923… Dec: 794…
NYSE Vol: 604.3 mln… Adv: 2136… Dec: 890…

Moving the Market

S&P 500 enters final session of the month with an August gain of 3.4%: Nasdaq up 4.3% month-to-date

July Personal Income (+0.2% versus Briefing.com consensus +0.3%) and Personal Spending (-0.1% versus consensus +0.1%) miss expectations, while Core PCE Prices match estimates (+0.1%)

Sector Watch
Strong: Health Care, Financials, Technology, Utilities
Weak: Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Staples, Industrials

04:15PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.

The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the four lowest volume days of the year (4-day average 487.3 million), but today's final tally of 604 million was a little closer to the 200-day average of 679 million.

The lack of activity during the week was a function of some participants being away on vacation, while many others opted to stick to the sidelines ahead of a three-day weekend in the U.S. that could feature new developments on the geopolitical front. However, the Friday tally benefited from month-end flows.

All ten sectors registered gains with heavily-weighted technology (+0.5%), health care (+0.4%), and financials (+0.5%) doing the bulk of the heavy lifting. The three sectors outperformed throughout the session, while the energy sector (+0.5%) joined the leaders during the late afternoon.

The tech sector rallied out of the gate with chipmakers setting the pace after Avago Technologies (AVGO 82.09, +5.73) delivered a solid quarterly report. Shares of AVGO soared 7.5%, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index gained 0.7% to end the month higher by 6.2%. The month-long strength contributed to the outperformance of the Nasdaq, which added 4.8% in August.

Furthermore, the tech-heavy index received another measure of support from biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 276.55, +2.43) gained 0.9% today to bring its August advance to 10.3%. Fittingly, the health care sector ended the month ahead of the other nine groups with a gain of 4.5%.

On the flip side, consumer discretionary (unch), consumer staples (+0.1%), and industrials (unch) lagged throughout the session. The industrial sector was the only group that was unable to finish the week in the green. The cyclical sector shed 0.3% for the week, but rallied 3.9% in August.

Treasuries held slim gains for the bulk of the session, but slid to lows into the close. The 10-yr yield climbed one basis point to 2.35%.

Economic data included personal income/spending data, Chicago PMI, and the Michigan Sentiment survey:
  • Personal income increased 0.2% in July following an upwardly revised 0.5% (from 0.4%) gain in June, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.3% 
    • The increase in July income was in-line with the reported 0.2% increase in aggregate earnings from the previously released employment data 
  • Personal spending fell 0.1% in July after increasing 0.4% in June, while the consensus expected an increase of 0.1% 
    • Even though household debt ratios have normalized to pre-recession levels and consumer confidence levels have fully recovered, consumers are continuing to delay consumption growth in order to increase their savings 
  • Core PCE prices increased 0.1% and are up 1.5% year-over-year, which is still well below the FOMC target rate 
  • The Chicago PMI for August rose to 55.6 from 52.6, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase to 54.8 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for August was revised up to 82.5 from 79.2 in the final reading, while the Briefing.com consensus expected a revision to 80.0 
Bond and equity markets will be closed on Monday for Labor Day. On Tuesday, the ISM Index for August and July Construction Spending will both be released at 10:00 ET.
  • Nasdaq Composite +9.7% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +8.4% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +3.2% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +0.8% YTD 
Week in Review: S&P 500 Hits 2,000

The stock market began the last week of August on an upbeat note with the S&P 500 making its first appearance above the 2,000 level. The benchmark index added 0.5% with all ten sectors ending in the green. Equity indices rallied out of the gate, but the opening push ran out of steam after the S&P 500 notched a session high at 2,001.95. The benchmark index took a couple steps back after reaching that level and held its ground throughout the afternoon. M&A activity in the health care sector (+0.7%) contributed to the opening rally after Swiss drug maker Roche (RHHBY) agreed to acquire InterMune (ITMN) for $74.00 per share, representing a 38.0% premium to Friday's closing price.  

Equities ended the Tuesday session on an upbeat note with small-cap stocks pacing the advance. The Russell 2000 jumped 0.9%, while the S&P 500 posted a slim gain of 0.1% with seven sectors ending higher. In some ways, the session resembled Monday's affair as the key indices climbed out of the gate, reached their highs during the first half of action, and spent the remainder of the session in a slow retreat from their best levels of the day. Trading volume was light once again.

The major averages ended the midweek session on a flat note after spending the day inside narrow ranges. The S&P 500 hovered near the 2,000 mark for the majority of the trading day, but slumped to new lows during the last hour of action. The index then returned to its flat line, where it settled for the day. For the third day in a row, participation left a lot to be desired with just 487 million shares changing hands at the NYSE.

The stock market ended the Thursday session on a modestly lower note, but a late-morning rebound lifted the indices off their lows. The S&P 500 shed 0.2% with seven sectors ending in the red. European equities and U.S. futures slumped around 6:00 ET after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko was quoted as saying Russian forces have invaded an area southeast of Donetsk. The news pressured the markets, but a brief uptick took place after a correction to reports indicated Ukraine's President did not use the word "invade," but rather said Russian troops "entered" Ukraine. The change in wording did not change the fact that Russian troops are reportedly on Ukraine's soil, which caused a flight to safety. As a result, Germany's 10-yr Bunds rallied, dropping the yield to a new record low of 0.87% before a slight rebound to 0.89%. Gold futures were also in demand with the metal climbing 0.7% to $1291.70/ozt. Once again, participation in today's affair was well below average with just 479 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor, which undercut Monday's total for the lowest tally of the year.
Dow: +18.88… | Nasdaq: +22.58… | S&P: +6.63…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1923/794. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2136/890.

03:30PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM]
  • Dec gold touched a session high of $1292.50 per ounce in morning action but slipped back into negative territory as the dollar index strengthened. It settled 0.2% lower at $1287.40 per ounce, slightly above its session low of $1285.30 per ounce.
  • Today's weakness shaved gains for the week to 0.6%. 
  • Dec silver also retreated into negative territory after brushing a session high of $19.67 per ounce. Unable to gain momentum, it settled 0.6% lower at its session low of $19.49 per ounce, booking a weekly gain of 0.2%.
  • Oct crude oil traded higher today as it gained support on continued Ukraine tension. The energy component lifted from its session low of $95.04 per barrel and touched a session high of $96.06 per barrel before it settled 1.5% higher at $95.93 per barrel, thus gaining 2.5% for the week. 
  • Oct natural gas rose for a third consecutive session despite brushing a session low of $4.01 per MMBtu in early morning pit trade.
  • It recovered into positive territory and settled at its session high of $4.07 per MMBtu, booking a gain of 0.7%. Today's strength brought gains for the week to 4.9%.
Dow: -14.96… | Nasdaq: +15.75… | S&P: +3.20…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1759/924. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1990/1003.

03:00PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 trades higher by 0.2% with one hour remaining in the final session of the month. This puts the benchmark index on track to register an August gain of 3.6%, which will extend its year-to-date advance to 8.2%.

Nine sectors are on course to register August gains between 1.6% (energy) and 4.5% (health care). This leaves the telecom services space as the lone decliner. The countercyclical sector has surrendered 1.2% this month to narrow its year-to-date gain to 3.1%. Despite showing relative weakness this month, the telecom sector remains ahead of industrials and the consumer discretionary space on this year's leaderboard. The two hold respective-year-to-date gains of 2.4% and 2.6%.
Dow: -12.27… | Nasdaq: +15.15… | S&P: +3.24…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1752/940. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1977/1005.

02:30PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Quiet action continues with the S&P 500 holding onto the 2,000 level. The benchmark index spiked above that level during the late morning, but has been inching away from its session high (2003.25) since then. The index bounced a little upon returning to the 2,000 level, but slipped back to that mark shortly thereafter.

Elsewhere, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.1%) remains below its flat line, while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.4%) continues hovering near its high.
Dow: -7.18… | Nasdaq: +16.06… | S&P: +4.02…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1752/919. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1993/975.

02:00PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] As has been the case throughout the week, there isn't a whole lot of participation in today's market.  The proof of that point shows up in the volume data.

Recall that Thursday was the lowest volume day of the year at the NYSE.  At this point yesterday, 259 mln shares had traded at the NYSE; today, only 218 mln shares have traded.  That clearly leaves today on track to be the lowest volume day of the year.

Given the geopolitical scene of late, there is some understandable hesitation to initiate new positions ahead of the holiday weekend.  Even so, there isn't any potent fear-based positioning taking place.  The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 12.28, +0.23) is up a decent amount percentage-wise but off a very low base; the A/D line favors advancers at both the NYSE and Nasdaq; the 10-yr note is up just two ticks; and gold prices ($1287.60, -2.80) are little changed.

"Little changed" is pretty much the operative expression today in the stock market from a broader standpoint.
Dow: -8.74… | Nasdaq: +14.27… | S&P: +3.45…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1709/954. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1956/1015.

01:30PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 hovers right above the 2,000 level, which has been the case for the past hour or so. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dipped back into the red amid weakness in 15 of its 30 components. Although half of the index trades lower, only United Technologies (UTX 107.89, -1.22) displays a loss close to 1.0%.

While equities have been confined to narrow ranges over the past 30 minutes, there has been some movement among commodities. Specifically, crude oil has spiked to a session high as the pit session drew to a close. The energy component jumped 1.3% to $95.76/bbl. Despite today's advance, oil futures slumped in August, falling 2.2%.

Elsewhere, the 10-yr note has inched up to its best level of the session, pressuring its yield one basis point to 2.33%.
Dow: -2.73… | Nasdaq: +13.88… | S&P: +3.70…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1692/955. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1947/1004.

01:00PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices hold midday gains with the Russell 2000 (+0.5%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.4%) trading ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.2%).

The stock market began the final session of August on a quiet note, but rallied during the late morning amid strength in the three top-weighted sectors. Technology (+0.4%), financials (+0.5%), and health care (+0.4%) remain in the lead at this juncture, while other influential sectors trade closer to their flat lines.

Of the three largest sectors, technology has been boosted by high-beta chipmakers after Avago Technologies (AVGO 82.95, +6.59) reported solid quarterly results. The stock has surged 8.6%, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index trades up 0.7%.

The solid performance of the technology sector has contributed to the relative strength of the Nasdaq, which has also received support from biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 276.06, +1.94) has added 0.7% and is on course to finish the month with a 10.0% gain. For its part, the health care sector is on course to finish the month ahead of the other nine groups. The top-weighted countercyclical sector is higher by 4.7% since the end of July.

Also of note, financials have rebounded from yesterday's underperformance, putting the sector on track to end the month higher by 4.0% versus a 3.6% increase for the S&P 500.

On the downside, the industrial sector (-0.2%) is the weakest performer following profit taking among defense contractors. The PHLX Defense Index hovers right below its flat line and is down 0.5% for the week. Despite the decline, the 17-stock index is still higher by 4.0% in August.

Treasuries have maintained a narrow range and the 10-yr note sits right above its flat line with the yield at 2.33%.

Economic data included personal income/spending data, Chicago PMI, and the Michigan Sentiment survey:
  • Personal income increased 0.2% in July following an upwardly revised 0.5% (from 0.4%) gain in June, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.3% 
    • The increase in July income was in-line with the reported 0.2% increase in aggregate earnings from the previously released employment data 
  • Personal spending fell 0.1% in July after increasing 0.4% in June, while the consensus expected an increase of 0.1% 
    • Even though household debt ratios have normalized to pre-recession levels and consumer confidence levels have fully recovered, consumers are continuing to delay consumption growth in order to increase their savings 
  • Core PCE prices increased 0.1% and are up 1.5% year-over-year, which is still well below the FOMC target rate 
  • The Chicago PMI for August rose to 55.6 from 52.6, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase to 54.8 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for August was revised up to 82.5 from 79.2 in the final reading, while the Briefing.com consensus expected a revision to 80.0
Dow: +6.57… | Nasdaq: +16.40… | S&P: +4.50…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1706/923. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1933/992.

12:25PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages remain near their highs as the quiet session continues. In all likelihood, today's session will challenge yesterday's affair for the title of the slowest trading day of the year with only 172 million shares having changed hands so far at the NYSE.

NYSE floor volume stood at 191 million at this point yesterday before climbing to 479 million by the end of the session.

Market breadth continues favoring the bulls with nearly two names trading higher for each decliner.
Dow: +9.19… | Nasdaq: +16.81… | S&P: +4.59…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1695/908. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1911/1015.

11:55AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P has extended its gain to 0.3%, while the Nasdaq is now higher by 0.5%.

As mentioned earlier, the Nasdaq has benefitted from the strength among chipmakers (PHLX Semiconductor Index +0.7%) as well as the overall technology sector (+0.4%). Furthermore, the index has also received support from biotechnology as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 276.49, +2.37) trades higher by 0.9%.

Today's advance has placed the ETF on track for a record close after surging 10.2% since the end of July. Meanwhile, the health care sector (+0.4%) outperforms and is on course to finish the month ahead of the other nine sectors with a monthly gain of 4.7%.
Dow: +14.86… | Nasdaq: +20.75… | S&P: +5.56…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1729/864. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1958/944.

11:30AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Recent action saw the S&P 500 (+0.2%) return to its opening high, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (unch) has yet to climb out of the red.

The recent advance has been fueled by the three top-weighted sectors. Technology (+0.3%), financials (+0.4%), and health care (+0.3%) all trade ahead of the broader market, while the fourth-largest sector-consumer discretionary-sits right below its flat line.

Even though the S&P 500 hovers near its high, participants have shown interest in volatility protection as evidenced by a modest increase in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 12.10, +0.05).
Dow: -3.25… | Nasdaq: +17.16… | S&P: +3.39…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1643/904. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1857/1010.

11:00AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 has spent the past hour near its flat line, while the Nasdaq (+0.2%) has continued showing relative strength.

The tech-heavy index has received significant support from chipmakers following upbeat quarterly results from Avago Technologies (AVGO 82.58, +6.22). Shares of AVGO trade higher by 8.2%, while the broader PHLX Semiconductor Index trades up 0.5% after being up as much as 1.0% at the start of the session. For its part, the technology sector (+0.2%) holds a modest gain.

On the downside, the industrial sector (-0.2%) lags amid weakness in defense contractors and transport stocks. The PHLX Defense Index is lower by 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average holds a loss of 0.1%.
Dow: -26.20… | Nasdaq: +9.79… | S&P: +1.02…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1414/1061. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1591/1244.

10:35AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM]
  • The dollar index sold off in recent trade and just hit a new LoD, which helped precious metals move higher
  • Gold and silver have been recovering off lows and are back in positive territory now and just hit new highs for the day
  • Dec gold is now +0.02% at $1290.60/oz, while Dec silver is +0.2% at $19.64/barrel
  • Crude oil has been in positive territory all day so far and rose as high as $95.52/barrel. Oct crude oil is +0.7% at $952.4/barrel
  • Natural gas has been a little choppy and is back near the flat line. Oct NG is now +0.1% at $4.05/MMBtu
  • Dec copper is +0.5% at $3.17/lb
Dow: -40.66… | Nasdaq: +0.53… | S&P: -1.38…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1205/1251. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1387/1407.

09:55AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 has surrendered its opening gain amid weakness in cyclical sectors like consumer discretionary (-0.2%), energy (-0.1%), and industrials (-0.2%).

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for August was revised up to 82.5 from 79.2 in the final reading, while the Briefing.com consensus expected the reading to be revised up to 80.0.
Dow: -17.05… | Nasdaq: +4.19… | S&P: +0.33…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1129/1104. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1416/1270.

09:45AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages began the trading day on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq Composite (+0.3%) in the lead. The S&P 500 (+0.2%) follows not far behind with seven sectors showing early gains.

With the Nasdaq showing strength it is no surprise that the technology sector (+0.4%) trades ahead of the remaining groups. Chipmakers have contributed to the outperformance with the PHLX Semiconductor Index trading higher by 1.0%.

Just released, the Chicago PMI for August rose to 64.3 from 52.6, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase to 54.8.

The final reading of the Michigan Sentiment survey for August will be released at 9:55 ET. The Briefing.com consensus expects the reading to be revised up to 80.0 from 79.2.
Dow: +8.44… | Nasdaq: +12.09… | S&P: +3.01…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1261/886. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1604/1025.

09:13AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +4.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +11.00. The stock market is on track for an upbeat start to the final session of the month. The S&P 500 futures trade four points above fair value, which puts the benchmark index on course to build on its August gain of 3.4%.

Overnight action has been subdued with Asian markets ending on a mixed note, while indices in Europe trade near their flat lines. Inflation data from Japan was in line with estimates, while the Core CPI reading for the eurozone came in slightly ahead of estimates (0.9% versus expected 0.8%), which suggests the European Central Bank could hold back from deploying a quantitative easing program at next week's meeting. Headline CPI, however, eased to 0.3% from 0.4%.

Domestically, economic data released this morning revealed disappointing readings for July Personal Income (+0.2% versus Briefing.com consensus +0.3%) and Personal Spending (-0.1% versus Briefing.com consensus +0.1%), while core PCE Prices (+0.1%) were in line with estimates.

More data remains on the schedule with the Chicago PMI for August (Briefing.com consensus 54.8) expected to be released at 9:45 ET, while the final reading of the August Michigan Sentiment survey (consensus 80.0) will be reported at 9:55 ET.

Treasuries hold modest losses with the 10-yr yield up one basis point at 2.35%.

09:02AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +3.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +9.20. The S&P 500 futures trade four points above fair value.

Asian markets ended the week on a mixed note following a full slate of economic data.
  • Japan's National Core CPI held steady at 3.3%, as expected, while Tokyo Core CPI ticked down to 2.7% from 2.8%, as expected. Separately, Household Spending fell 5.9% year-over-year (consensus -3.0%; prior -3.0%), Industrial Production ticked up 0.2% month-over-month (expected 1.0%; previous -3.4%), and Retail Sales rose 0.5% year-over-year (consensus 0.1%; last -0.6%). Also of note, the Unemployment Rate rose to 3.8% from 3.7% (expected 3.7%) and Housing Starts fell 14.1% year-over-year (consensus -10.5%; last -9.5%) 
  • South Korea's Industrial Production rose 3.4% year-over-year (expected 2.7%; prior 0.6%), while Retail Sales ticked up 0.3% month-over-month (forecast 0.4%; last 0.3%) 
  • Australia's Private Sector Credit rose 0.4% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last 0.7%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei shed 0.2%, finishing at its lowest level in almost two weeks. Heavyweight Softbank was the top performer, adding 3.4%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended flat, holding at a two-week low. Casino stocks weighed with employees planning a weekend protest against high housing costs. Sands China settled lower by 1.7%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite rose 1.0%, climbing off three-week lows. Financials provided support with Agricultural Bank of China higher by 0.8%. 
Major European indices trade little changed, while Italy's MIB (+0.3%) outperforms. Investors received some hotter than expected inflation readings from the eurozone, which suggest the European Central Bank could make no changes to its policy stance at next week's meeting
  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Eurozone CPI ticked up 0.3% year-over-year, as expected, while core CPI increased 0.9% (consensus 0.8%; prior 0.8%). Separately, the Unemployment Rate held at 11.5%, as expected 
    • Germany's Retail Sales fell 1.4% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; previous 1.0%), while the year-over-year reading increased 0.7% (consensus 1.5%; last 0.1%) 
    • Great Britain's Nationwide HPI rose 11.0% year-over-year (expected 10.1%; last 10.6%) 
    • Italy's Quarterly Unemployment Rate ticked down to 12.5% from 12.6% (consensus 12.6%), while CPI rose 0.2% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; last -0.1%). Also of note, GDP was left unrevised at -0.2% quarter-over-quarter, as expected 
    • Spain's Business Confidence fell to -6.7 from -5.7 (expected -6.0), while Retail Sales declined 0.5% year-over-year (expected 0.1%; last 0.2%) 
------
  • Germany's DAX is lower by 0.3% with Deutsche Lufthansa showing the largest loss. The stock is lower by 2.0%. Financials are mixed with Commerzbank up 0.5% and Deutsche Bank down 0.7% 
  • In France, the CAC is flat. Oil services company Total leads with a gain of 1.2%, while Renault is the weakest performer, down 2.7%. 
  • Great Britain's FTSE trades up 0.1%. Financials are among the leaders with Aberdeen Asset Management, St James's Place, and RSA Insurance Group up between 0.9% and 1.5%. Consumer names lag with Tesco and WM Morrison Supermarkets both down near 4.1% after Tesco reduced its dividend and lowered its guidance. 
  • Italy's MIB outperforms with an increase of 0.3%. Salvatore Ferragamo has surged 7.7% in reaction to its quarterly report.

08:31AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +4.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +12.70. The S&P 500 futures trade five points above fair value.

July personal income increased 0.2%, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.3%. Meanwhile, personal spending fell 0.1%, while the consensus expected an uptick of 0.1%.

Separately, core PCE prices rose 0.1%, which matched the Briefing.com consensus.

08:00AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +5.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +14.00. U.S. equity futures hover near their highs amid subdued action overseas. The S&P 500 futures trade six points above fair value. The benchmark index will enter the final session of the month with an August gain of 3.4%. Meanwhile, nine of ten economic sectors are on course to finish the month higher, while the smallest sector by weight-telecom services-will enter the session with an August decline of 1.8%.

Treasuries hold slim losses with the 10-yr yield up one basis point at 2.35%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:
  • Avago Technologies (AVGO 79.94, +3.58): +4.8% in reaction to its solid results 
  • Big Lots (BIG 47.05, -0.15): -0.3% despite reporting a one-cent beat and announcing a new $125 million repurchase program 
  • OmniVision (OVTI 27.80, +0.52): +1.9% following its better than expected revenue 
  • Splunk (SPLK 47.75, +2.46): +5.4% after beating on both metrics and guiding higher 
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei -0.2%, China's Shanghai Composite +1.0%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended flat 
    • In economic data: 
      • Japan's National Core CPI held steady at 3.3%, as expected, while Tokyo Core CPI ticked down to 2.7% from 2.8%, as expected. Separately, Household Spending fell 5.9% year-over-year (consensus -3.0%; prior -3.0%), Industrial Production ticked up 0.2% month-over-month (expected 1.0%; previous -3.4%), and Retail Sales rose 0.5% year-over-year (consensus 0.1%; last -0.6%). Also of note, the Unemployment Rate rose to 3.8% from 3.7% (expected 3.7%) and Housing Starts fell 14.1% year-over-year (consensus -10.5%; last -9.5%) 
      • South Korea's Industrial Production rose 3.4% year-over-year (expected 2.7%; prior 0.6%), while Retail Sales ticked up 0.3% month-over-month (forecast 0.4%; last 0.3%) 
      • Australia's Private Sector Credit rose 0.4% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last 0.7%) 
    • In news: 
      • Japan's disappointing Household Spending report marked the fourth consecutive decline, while inflation readings were largely in line with expectations
  • Major European indices are little changed. Germany's DAX -0.1%, Great Britain's FTSE +0.1%, and France's CAC is flat. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB +0.6% and Spain's IBEX -0.2% 
    • Participants received several data points: 
      • Eurozone CPI ticked up 0.3% year-over-year, as expected, while core CPI increased 0.9% (consensus 0.8%; prior 0.8%). Separately, the Unemployment Rate held at 11.5%, as expected 
      • Germany's Retail Sales fell 1.4% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; previous 1.0%), while the year-over-year reading increased 0.7% (consensus 1.5%; last 0.1%)
      • Great Britain's Nationwide HPI rose 11.0% year-over-year (expected 10.1%; last 10.6%) 
      • Italy's Quarterly Unemployment Rate ticked down to 12.5% from 12.6% (consensus 12.6%), while CPI rose 0.2% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; last -0.1%). Also of note, GDP was left unrevised at -0.2% quarter-over-quarter, as expected 
      • Spain's Business Confidence fell to -6.7 from -5.7 (expected -6.0), while Retail Sales declined 0.5% year-over-year (expected 0.1%; last 0.2%) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • Hotter than expected inflation readings from the eurozone suggest the European Central Bank could make no changes to its policy stance at next week's meeting

06:52AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +7.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +16.50.

06:52AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Nikkei...15,424.59...-35.30...-0.20%.  Hang Seng...24,742.06...+1.10...0.00.

06:52AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] FTSE...6,818.65...+12.90...+0.20%.  DAX...9,477.69...+15.10...+0.20%.

04:15PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Thursday session on a modestly lower note, but a late-morning rebound lifted the indices off their lows. The S&P 500 shed 0.2% with seven sectors ending in the red.

This morning, European equities and U.S. futures slumped around 6:00 ET after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko was quoted as saying Russian forces have invaded an area southeast of Donetsk. The news pressured the markets, but a brief uptick took place after a correction to reports indicated Ukraine's President did not use the word "invade," but rather said Russian troops "entered" Ukraine. The change in wording did not change the fact that Russian troops are reportedly on Ukraine's soil, which caused a flight to safety. As a result, Germany's 10-yr Bunds rallied, dropping the yield to a new record low of 0.87% before a slight rebound to 0.89%. Gold futures were also in demand with the metal climbing 0.7% to $1291.70/ozt.

Similarly, U.S. Treasuries saw demand in the morning, but the 10-yr note surrendered a portion of its gain as the session wore on. The 10-yr note added five ticks to send its yield lower by two basis points to 2.34%.

All ten sectors displayed losses at the start, but materials (+0.04%), telecom services (unch) and utilities (+0.7%) were able to recover before the close. The materials sector benefitted from strength among miners with Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX 26.46, +0.35) gaining 1.3%.

Meanwhile, the remaining sectors ended in the red, but only financials (-0.4%) and industrials (-0.3%) settled behind the broader market. Even though the financial sector underperformed, today's loss narrowed its August gain to 3.5% versus a 3.4% advance for the S&P 500. Bank of America (BAC 16.01, -0.19) was the weakest performer among the majors, sliding 1.2%.

Elsewhere, the top-weighted sector-technology (-0.2%)-was pressured by influential components like Facebook (FB 73.86, -0.77), Google (GOOGL 580.32, -2.68), and Oracle (ORCL 41.27, -0.37), while the largest sector member-Apple (AAPL 102.25, +0.12)-posted a modest gain. Chipmakers also displayed strength with the PHLX Semiconductor Index climbing 0.3%.

Once again, participation in today's affair was well below average with just 479 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor, which undercut Monday's total for the lowest tally of the year. The lack of activity reflected the preference to stick to the sidelines ahead of a three-day weekend that could bring new developments on the geopolitical front.

Economic data included the second revision to Q2 GDP, Initial Claims, and the Pending Home Sales report:
  • Second quarter GDP was revised up to 4.2% in the second estimate from 4.0% in the advance estimate, while the Briefing.com consensus expected no revisions 
    • Most notably, real final sales grew at a much faster rate in the second quarter (2.8%) than what was originally reported (2.3%) 
    • Personal consumption spending was left unrevised at 2.5% 
  • The initial claims level fell to 298,000 from an upwardly revised 299,000 (from 298,000), while the Briefing.com consensus pegged the claims level at 302,000 
  • Pending home sales for July rose 3.3%, which was better than the 0.5% increase forecast by the Briefing.com consensus 
    • The reading followed last month's revised decrease of 1.3% (from -1.1%) 
Tomorrow, Personal Income/Spending Data and Core PCE Prices for July will be reported at 8:30 ET, while the Chicago PMI for August (Briefing.com consensus 54.8) will cross the wires at 9:45 ET. The day's data will be topped off with the 9:55 ET release of the final reading of the Michigan Sentiment Survey for August (expected 80.0).
  • Nasdaq Composite +9.1% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +8.0% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +3.0% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +0.3% YTD
Dow: -42.44… | Nasdaq: -11.93… | S&P: -3.38…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 910/1784. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1269/1750.

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