Monthly Archives: June 2011

Tuesday stocks reverse losses after four-day losing streak

Dow at 12,807, down just 3 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Traders are eagerly awaiting indications from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke that interest rate hikes aren’t likely anytime soon.
The hope that Bernanke will make that clear in remarks scheduled for Tuesday afternoon is keeping stocks afloat. Stocks recovered some of their losses Tuesday after sliding for four straight days.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 53 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,142 in midday trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 5, or 0.4 percent, to 1,291. The Nasdaq composite rose 6, or 0.2 percent, to 2,708.
The Fed has said it will wind down its $600 billion bond-buying program later this month. But a string of disappointing economic reports in recent weeks has renewed speculation that the Fed might extend the program or delay any increase in interest rates well into next year. Before the latest indications that the economy was losing momentum, economists widely expected the Fed to begin raising rates as soon as the end of this year to head off inflation. Bernanke is scheduled to speak at the International Monetary Conference at 3:45 p.m.

Monday stocks subdued

Midday Dow at 12,132, down 19 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Banks and airlines are nudging stocks lower Monday, while economic worries continue to weigh on markets.
Airline stocks dropped after an industry group cut its profit estimate this year by half. The group blamed disasters in Japan, unrest in the Middle East and higher fuel prices.
Many banks are also falling, amid concern that the Federal Reserve may require them to set aside more cash to cover potential losses.
The Dow fell 10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,142 in early afternoon trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 3 points to 1,296. The Nasdaq composite fell 3 to 2,729.
Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. dropped more than 2 percent in early afternoon trading. American Airlines’ holding company AMR Corp. lost 3 percent. The International Air Transport Association estimates airlines will earn about $4 billion this year, down from $18 billion last year.

And the price of gas in Kitsap keeps on falling …

… to $3.91 per gallon of unleaded today, down 2 cents from a week ago and 15 cents from this time last month. Looks like more decrease is coming. Here’s a portion of a wire story about oil prices:

Rachel Pritchett

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil fell below $100 a barrel Monday as investors and economists await a key OPEC meeting this week and the government’s outlook on U.S. supply and demand.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery lost 86 cents at $99.36 per barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude has hovered around that level for a month.
A stronger dollar pushed oil lower. TransCanada Corp. also said its Keystone Pipeline was back online after a minor oil spill at a pump station in Kansas. The pipeline delivers a half million barrels of oil per day to the U.S. from Alberta, feeding supplies to the delivery point for benchmark oil in Cushing, Okla. The 1,300-mile pipeline was taken offline twice in the last month as TransCanada dealt with leaks.
Analysts are looking for clues on what OPEC will do about oil production when the cartel meets Wednesday in Vienna. OPEC ministers could decide to try to push oil prices lower by increasing production. OPEC officials have said that they believe oil prices are too high and threaten global economic recovery.
“You have a lot of money sitting on the sidelines right now ahead of that meeting,” analyst Stephen Schork said.

Dow suffers biggest drop since August

That would be 279 points on Wednesday, with the market closing at 12, 290.

NEW YORK (AP) — Manufacturing was supposed to keep the recovery going and boost stocks in the process. That changed in March when the nearly 2-year-old manufacturing expansion began to slow. The slowdown took a dive in May.
A report from the Institute for Supply Management detailing that loss of momentum, coupled with far-lower-than-expected job creation numbers, added to doubts about the economic recovery’s strength on Wednesday.
Private employers added just 38,000 jobs in May, down from 177,000 in April, according to payroll processor ADP. It’s the weakest result since September and analysts had expected 180,000 jobs to be added.
The Labor Department’s more comprehensive report, which includes hiring by both private employers and the government, is released Friday. The ADP report has sometimes been a poor indicator. It only includes the 430,000 companies that process their payrolls with ADP, covering about 24 million employees. That’s fewer than one in five of the 139.7 million people the Labor Department counts as employed.
Last month, ADP’s figures underestimated growth. The private sector actually added 268,000 jobs in April, according to the government.
“As far as we can tell, employers have hugely overreacted to the surge in oil prices, which has slowed but not killed consumption,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics. The weak ADP results pushed him to cut his forecast for overall job growth in May to 75,000. He earlier had forecast Friday’s report to show growth of 175,000 jobs.
Manufacturing had been one of the economy’s bright spots since the recession ended. The ISM’s manufacturing index fell to 53.5 in May from 60.4 in April. In February, it was as high as 61.4. A reading of more than 50 indicates the manufacturing industry is growing.
Construction spending rose 0.4 percent in April, according to a Commerce Department report also released Wednesday. That is still close to its lowest level in more than a decade
The discouraging reports join a host of other news that has dampened hopes for a strong economic recovery and helped knock the S&P 500 down 1.4 percent in May. Still-high gas prices, a continued housing market decline, weaker-than-expected GDP and tepid consumer confidence — along with concerns about debt problems in Europe and the debt ceiling in the U.S. — have weighed on markets.
“It looks like this recovery has hit its second “soft patch,” which for a recovery that is less than two years old is troubling,” said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist for Capital Economics.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 186 points, or 1.5 percent, to 12,382 in midday trading. The S&P 500 index fell 19 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,326. The Nasdaq composite fell 37 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,799.
Treasury prices rose as investors moved into safer types of investments. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves in the opposite direction of its price, fell below 3 percent for the first time in 2011.
General Motors fell 1.9 percent Wednesday after it said U.S. sales weakened in May. The car maker sold 221,192 vehicles, down 1.2 percent from a year earlier. It cited a decision to cut sales to rental car companies for the drop. Other auto manufacturers will give updates through the day on their U.S. sales. Analysts expect overall sales to be weaker due to supply problems in Japan following the March earthquake, among other factors.
Sealed Air Corp. fell 3 percent after the maker of Bubble Wrap and other packaging, said it will buy Diversey Holdings for about $2.9 billion in cash and stock. Diversey provides cleaning products and sanitizers.
Dollar General Corp. fell 7.4 percent after the discount store operator’s first-quarter profit growth fell short of analysts’ expectations.
JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. also reported first-quarter profit growth below analysts’ expectations. The men’s clothing maker fell 12.9 percent.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. rose 7.1 percent after the studio said it returned to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter on lower distribution and marketing costs.