Wall Street lower for second day after rally, data – Reuters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange February 20, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid


(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were lower on Wednesday, with indexes on track for a second straight day of declines, as a recent rally gave investors reason to exercise caution.

After a sluggish start to the year, equities charged higher in February, helping send both the Dow and S&P to record highs on Monday, and the Nasdaq hurdled the 5,000 level for the first time in 15 years.

Economic data continued to point to a slowly accelerating U.S. economy, increasing the likelihood the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin to hike interest rates at some point this year.

“We’ve had this big move, we are extended. I don’t think the market is particularly overvalued or particularly expensive but it’s not cheap,” said Stephen Massocca, chief investment officer at Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco.

“It’s less about the recent economic data and more where we are today, and it’s more about looking forward to monetary policy changing as well.”

The ADP National Employment Report showed private employers added 212,000 jobs in February, short of the 220,000 forecast, although January’s reading was revised upward to 250,000 from the initial 213,000.

Readings on the services sector from financial data firm Markit and the Institute for Supply Management both pointed to modest growth.

Investors will deal with a flurry of economic data for the rest of the week, culminating with the Labor Department’s February payrolls report, which will be eyed to help gauge the timing of a rate hike.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 124.77 points, or 0.69 percent, to 18,078.6, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 13.41 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,094.37 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 19.01 points, or 0.38 percent, to 4,960.89.

Bob Evans Farms (BOBE.O) said it was not currently looking at selling or spinning off its food-products business and was evaluating strategic options for all or part of its real-estate assets. Shares of the restaurant and packaged food company plunged 22.6 percent to $46.15.

Abercombie & Fitch (ANF.N) slumped 14.9 percent to $20.42 after the teen apparel retailer said its quarterly profit fell by a third. But fellow apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters (AEO.N) jumped 8.3 percent to $16.05 after better-than-expected fourth quarter sales.

Alcoa (AA.N) fell 5.9 percent to $14.29 after Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut the stock to a “neutral” rating.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,068 to 849, for a 2.44-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,589 issues fell and 951 advanced, for a 1.67-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 index was posting 7 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 34 new highs and 39 new lows.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.

Wall Street lower for second day; healthcare is sole gainer – Reuters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange February 20, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid


(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were lower on Wednesday, with indexes on track for a second straight day of declines after a recent rally, with healthcare stocks the only bright spot after a U.S. Supreme Court hearing.

The S&P 500 healthcare index .SPXHC rose 0.31 percent as investors bet that the Supreme Court may lean toward the Obama administration’s view on the Affordable Care Act after it heard a second major challenge to the law.

“I think that hearing assuaged fears – at least for now – that we were headed for overturning of Obamacare,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

    The sector’s top gainers were HCA Holdings (HCA.N), Tenet Healthcare (THC.N) and Universal Health Services (UHS.N).

After a sluggish start to 2015, the broader equities market had surged in February, and both the Dow and S&P hit record highs on Monday, when the Nasdaq surpassed the 5,000 level for the first time in 15 years.

“It’s less about the recent economic data and more where we are today, and it’s more about looking forward to monetary policy changing as well,” said Stephen Massocca, chief investment officer at Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco.

Economic data continued to point to a slowly accelerating U.S. economy, increasing the likelihood the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin to hike interest rates at some point this year.

The ADP National Employment Report showed private employers added 212,000 jobs in February, short of the 220,000 forecast, although January’s reading was revised upward to 250,000 from the initial 213,000.

Readings on the services sector from financial data firm Markit and the Institute for Supply Management both pointed to modest growth.

Investors will deal with a flurry of economic data for the rest of the week, culminating with the Labor Department’s February payrolls report, which will be eyed to help gauge the timing of a rate hike.

At 12:19 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 86.37 points, or 0.47 percent, to 18,117, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 8.43 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,099.35 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 8.99 points, or 0.18 percent, to 4,970.92.

Bob Evans Farms (BOBE.O) shares fell 22.4 percent to $46.30 after the restaurant and packaged food company said it was not looking at selling or spinning off its food-products business and was evaluating strategic options for all or part of its real-estate assets.

Abercombie & Fitch (ANF.N) slumped 12.8 percent to $20.92 after the teen apparel retailer said its quarterly profit fell by a third. But fellow apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters (AEO.N) jumped 8.3 percent to $16.05 after better-than-expected fourth quarter sales.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,939 to 1,010, for a 1.92-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,553 issues fell and 1,049 advanced, for a 1.48-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 was posting 12 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 52 new highs and 40 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch and Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.

Global stocks wobble, euro hits eleven-and-a-half-year low before ECB – The Fiscal Times

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stock prices around the world fell on Wednesday on profit-taking, while the euro dropped to an 11-1/2 year low ahead of a European Central Bank meeting where policymakers are expected to offer details on their bond purchase stimulus plan.

In early U.S. trading, the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 retreated further from the record highs set on Monday, while major gauges on top European and Japanese shares were below their multi-year peaks.”Given the strength we’ve had in the equity markets since the beginning of February, we are transitioning into a sideways-trending market as investors digest the recent gains and look for greater clarity,” said Terry Sandven, senior equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.Brent crude was just below $60 a barrel after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said he expected the oil market to stabilize after prices tumbled to a near six-year low in January.The U.S. government’s February payrolls report due on Friday is seen as the week’s premier data. Further evidence of jobs and wage growth would support the notion the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as this summer.A private report on U.S. jobs issued on Wednesday trimmed expectations of a robust February payroll figure. Payroll processor ADP said domestic companies added 212,000 workers last month, slightly less than forecast.A separate report showed the U.S. services sector grew at a faster pace and added more workers in February. Economists polled by Reuters projected total U.S. payrolls grew 240,000 in February, below January’s 257,000 increase. The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield was flat at 2.12 percent, paring its earlier decline after the stronger-than-expected services sector data. In early trading, the Dow was down 142.82 points, or 0.78 percent, at 18,060.55. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 16.12 points, or 0.76 percent, at 2,091.66. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 31.58 points, or 0.63 percent, at 4,948.32. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index edged up 0.4 percent to 1,551.37 after Markit’s final euro zone composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in slightly weaker than a preliminary estimate. Tokyo’s Nikkei ended down 0.6 percent despite data showing a pick-up in China’s services sector and a surprise rate cut in India. The MSCI world equity index , which tracks shares in 45 nations, slipped 0.7 percent to 428.16.Lower stock prices moved in tandem with a weaker euro. It fell 0.8 percent to $1.1083 after touching $1.1073, the lowest since September 2003. The single currency hit a near one-month low against the yen. It was last down 0.9 percent at 132.55 yen. The dollar strengthened against a basket of currencies , hitting an 11-1/2 year peak. It was last up 0.6 percent at 96.962. The greenback, however, was little changed against the yen at 119.70 yen. Brent crude was last down $1.35, or down 2.21 percent, at $59.67 a barrel. U.S. crude was last off 50cents, or 0.99 percent, at $50.00. Spot gold prices rose $1.04 or 0.09 percent to $1,204.35 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak in New York; Lionel Laurent, Blaise Robinson and Emelia Sithole-Matarise in London; Editing by Susan Fenton)/.dxy/.miwd00000pus/.n225/.fteu3/.ixic/.spx/.dji

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.

Wall Street opens lower after ADP – Reuters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange February 20, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid


(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were lower on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P retreating further from recent records, after a softer-than-expected report on the labor market and ahead of data on the services sector.

The ADP National Employment Report showed private employers added 212,000 jobs in February, short of the 220,000 forecast, although January’s reading was revised upward to 250,000 from the initial 213,000.

Shortly after the opening bell, two readings on the services sector are expected with the final February reading of financial data firm Markit’s Purchasing Managers Index at 9:45 a.m.. The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge on the services sector in February is scheduled for a 10 a.m. release.

Investors will deal with a flurry of economic data for the rest of the week, culminating with the Labor Department’s February payrolls report, which will be used to help gauge the timing of an expected interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

“The U.S. economy is seeing varying degrees of improvement with employment, manufacturing, housing, sentiment all showing progress. Beyond today’s report, the near-term focus is on Friday’s employment report. That will be more telling,” said Terry Sandven, senior equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

“Given the strength we’ve had in the equity markets since the beginning of February, we are transitioning into a sideways-trending market as investors digest the recent gains and look for greater clarity.”

After a sluggish start to the year, equities charged higher in February, helping send both the Dow and S&P to record highs on Monday, and the Nasdaq hurdled the 5,000 level for the first time in 15 years. Major indexes had retreated in Tuesday’s session on soft auto sales and weakness in technology shares.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 97.83 points, or 0.54 percent, to 18,105.54, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 11.73 points, or 0.56 percent, to 2,096.05 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 23.99 points, or 0.48 percent, to 4,955.91.

Bob Evans Farms (BOBE.O) said it was not currently looking at selling or spinning off its food-products business and was evaluating strategic options for all or part of its real-estate assets. Shares of the restaurant and packaged food company plunged 20.3 percent to $47.51.

Abercombie & Fitch (ANF.N) slumped 7 percent to $22.32 after the teen apparel retailer said its quarterly profit fell by a third. But fellow apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters (AEO.N) jumped 8.3 percent to $16.05 after better-than-expected fourth quarter sales.

Alcoa (AA.N) fell 3.4 percent to $14.66 after Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut the stock to a “neutral” rating.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,000 to 614, for a 3.26-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,524 issues fell and 605 advanced, for a 2.52-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 was posting 2 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 13 new highs and 18 new lows.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.

Global stocks pull back further from record highs – Reuters UK

By Lionel Laurent

LONDON Wed Mar 4, 2015 12:31pm GMT

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange February 27, 2015. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski/Remote

1 of 2. Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange February 27, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski/Remote

LONDON (Reuters) – Global equities pulled back from recent record highs on Wednesday, with investors turning cautious after underwhelming European PMI data and ahead of central bank meetings.

U.S. jobs data due on Friday was also on investors’ minds, pushing the dollar index .DXY to an 11 1/2-year high, while the euro crashed through support levels that have held for more than a month. It hit a six-week low under pressure from the imminent launch of the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program.

The MSCI All Country World equity index .MIWD00000PUS slipped 0.3 percent, with Asian shares lower overall despite data showing a modest pick-up in China’s services sector and a surprise rate cut in India that boosted bonds and the rupee.

U.S. equity futures SPc1 were down 0.3 percent, set to extend a pullback since the Nasdaq .IXIC began the week by hitting the 5,000 milestone for the first time since the peak of the dotcom bubble in March 2000.

European markets were flat overall – with equities and bond yields ticking up – after data showed price cutting and a weaker currency were the main drivers of an acceleration in euro zone business activity in February.

Markit’s final composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in slightly weaker than a preliminary estimate although activity last month was at a seven-month high.

A below-expectations British services PMI saw sterling pull back from near seven-year-highs against the euro, and London’s FTSE 100 share index .FTSE was down 0.4 percent.

With major central banks at a crossroads as the ECB embarks on bond buying to further lower interest rates and spur growth, while the Federal Reserve is paving the way for a rate hike, investors are focused on data points that could give clues to the direction of future policy, especially the Fed’s.

“Investors are turning a bit more cautious given the ECB (meeting) tomorrow (Thursday) as well as the U.S. payrolls (data) on Friday,” said Saxo Bank trader Andrea Tueni.

“It’s not a surprise to see a pause in the rally; stocks have been on fire since the start of the year, some people are cashing in a bit.”

India’s central bank was the latest to surprise markets with a rate cut, lowering its policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent on Wednesday. That was its second inter-meeting cut this year on the back of easing inflation and what it said was the “weak state” of parts of the economy.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 equity index was broadly flat, but shares of Standard Chartered (STAN.L) hit their highest level since October after the bank ruled out plans to raise capital despite reporting a 25 percent slide in annual pretax profits.

German consumer goods group Henkel (HNKG_p.DE) fell 3.7 percent after the company struck a cautious note on its 2015 outlook as it expects stagnation in Eastern Europe and further pressure on the Russian economy and currency over the coming months.

In commodities markets, Brent crude LCOc1 dipped but held above $60 a barrel, supported by a rise in Saudi crude prices and air strikes on facilities in Libya.

Gold prices edged higher after a two-day losing streak, though the metal could remain under pressure due to expectations of robust U.S. economic data and higher U.S. interest rates, while London nickel held around a 14-month low.

(Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson and Emelia Sithole-Matarise; Editing by Susan Fenton)

  • Tweet this
  • Link this
  • Share this
  • Digg this
  • Email
  • Print
  • Reprints

Follow Reuters

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.

Wall St. opens lower after ADP; services data on tap – Reuters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange February 20, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid


(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were lower on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P retreating further from recent records, after a softer-than-expected report on the labor market and ahead of data on the services sector.

The ADP National Employment Report showed private employers added 212,000 jobs in February, short of the 220,000 forecast, although January’s reading was revised upward to 250,000 from the initial 213,000.

Shortly after the opening bell, two readings on the services sector are expected with the final February reading of financial data firm Markit’s Purchasing Managers Index at 9:45 a.m.. The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge on the services sector in February is scheduled for a 10 a.m. release.

Investors will deal with a flurry of economic data for the rest of the week, culminating with the Labor Department’s February payrolls report, which will be used to help gauge the timing of an expected interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

“The U.S. economy is seeing varying degrees of improvement with employment, manufacturing, housing, sentiment all showing progress. Beyond today’s report, the near-term focus is on Friday’s employment report. That will be more telling,” said Terry Sandven, senior equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

“Given the strength we’ve had in the equity markets since the beginning of February, we are transitioning into a sideways-trending market as investors digest the recent gains and look for greater clarity.”

After a sluggish start to the year, equities charged higher in February, helping send both the Dow and S&P to record highs on Monday, and the Nasdaq hurdled the 5,000 level for the first time in 15 years. Major indexes had retreated in Tuesday’s session on soft auto sales and weakness in technology shares.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 97.83 points, or 0.54 percent, to 18,105.54, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 11.73 points, or 0.56 percent, to 2,096.05 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 23.99 points, or 0.48 percent, to 4,955.91.

Bob Evans Farms (BOBE.O) said it was not currently looking at selling or spinning off its food-products business and was evaluating strategic options for all or part of its real-estate assets. Shares of the restaurant and packaged food company plunged 20.3 percent to $47.51.

Abercombie & Fitch (ANF.N) slumped 7 percent to $22.32 after the teen apparel retailer said its quarterly profit fell by a third. But fellow apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters (AEO.N) jumped 8.3 percent to $16.05 after better-than-expected fourth quarter sales.

Alcoa (AA.N) fell 3.4 percent to $14.66 after Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut the stock to a “neutral” rating.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,000 to 614, for a 3.26-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,524 issues fell and 605 advanced, for a 2.52-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 was posting 2 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 13 new highs and 18 new lows.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.

US stocks retreat from record highs, dollar dips – Reuters UK

By Richard Leong

NEW YORK Tue Mar 3, 2015 9:26pm GMT

The exterior of the New York Stock Exchange is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York February 17, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

1 of 2. The exterior of the New York Stock Exchange is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York February 17, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks followed other equities markets lower on Tuesday, with major indexes pulling back from record highs as soft auto sales raised doubts about the U.S. economy, while the dollar fell from an 11-year peak versus a basket of currencies.

Investors are awaiting evidence the global economy is improving before adding to equity holdings, analysts said. A stronger-than-expected 2.9 percent rise in German retail sales in January helped lift European shares near seven-year highs, though they later pulled back.

Data showed Canada’s economy grew more quickly than expected in late 2014 and the Swiss economy slowed less than forecast.

The outlook on the United States turned less favorable as poor winter weather hurt vehicle sales again.

“The air gets a little thin up at new highs and you need a driver to keep it going, and one of the things we are not getting as a driver today is solid auto sales,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed down 85.26 points, or 0.47 percent, at 18,203.37. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX was down 9.61 points, or 0.45 percent, at 2,107.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 28.20 points, or 0.56 percent, at 4,979.90.

On Monday, the Nasdaq broke above 5,000 mark for the first time in 15 years, while the Dow and S&P 500 set record closing highs. [.N]

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 shed 0.98 percent at 1,545.35, below Monday’s seven-year high. [.EU]

Tokyo’s Nikkei .N225 dipped 0.06 percent as traders booked gains that propelled the index to 15-year highs on Monday. [.T]

The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 45 nations, fell 0.5 percent, to 431.16.

The dollar retreated from an 11-year high against a group of six currencies after a top Japanese economic official said the greenback could not sustain more gains. The dollar index .DXY was last down 0.05 percent at 95.415, while the dollar was down 0.35 percent at 119.715 yen JPY=EBS [FRX/]

The euro firmed against the dollar but weakened versus the yen before details on Thursday from the European Central Bank on its 1.1 trillion euro bond-purchase program. It was down 0.1 percent at $1.11740 EUR=EBS and 0.42 percent lower at 133.750 yen EURJPY=EBS.

With the impending start of the ECB’s effort to jump-start the region’s economy, peripheral euro zone yields hovered near record lows. U.S. Treasuries were under pressure, with benchmark yields rising to 2.122 percent US10YT=RR due to higher-yielding corporate supply, led by a $21 billion deal from Actavis (ACT.N). [US/] [GVD/EUR] [USC/]

Oil rose in choppy trading as fighting in Libya and signs of stronger global demand outweighed persistent concerns about a supply glut. [O/R]

Brent crude LCOc1 settled up $1.48 or 2.49 percent at $61.02 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 settled up 93 cents or 1.88 percent at $50.52.

Spot gold XAU= fell $3.84 or 0.32 percent, to $1,202.81 an ounce, erasing early gains. [GOL/]

(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak in New York; Marius Zaharia, Francesco Canepa and Anirban Nag in London; Editing by Catherine Evans, Dan Grebler and James Dalgleish)

  • Tweet this
  • Link this
  • Share this
  • Digg this
  • Email
  • Print
  • Reprints

Follow Reuters

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.

Global stocks pull back further from record highs – Reuters

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange February 27, 2015. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski/Remote


(Reuters) – Global equities pulled back from recent record highs on Wednesday, with investors turning cautious after underwhelming European PMI data and ahead of central bank meetings.

U.S. jobs data due on Friday was also on investors’ minds, pushing the dollar index .DXY to an 11 1/2-year high, while the euro crashed through support levels that have held for more than a month. It hit a six-week low under pressure from the imminent launch of the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program.

The MSCI All Country World equity index .MIWD00000PUS slipped 0.3 percent, with Asian shares lower overall despite data showing a modest pick-up in China’s services sector and a surprise rate cut in India that boosted bonds and the rupee.

U.S. equity futures SPc1 were down 0.3 percent, set to extend a pullback since the Nasdaq .IXIC began the week by hitting the 5,000 milestone for the first time since the peak of the dotcom bubble in March 2000.

European markets were flat overall – with equities and bond yields ticking up – after data showed price cutting and a weaker currency were the main drivers of an acceleration in euro zone business activity in February.

Markit’s final composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in slightly weaker than a preliminary estimate although activity last month was at a seven-month high.

A below-expectations British services PMI saw sterling pull back from near seven-year-highs against the euro, and London’s FTSE 100 share index .FTSE was down 0.4 percent.

With major central banks at a crossroads as the ECB embarks on bond buying to further lower interest rates and spur growth, while the Federal Reserve is paving the way for a rate hike, investors are focused on data points that could give clues to the direction of future policy, especially the Fed’s.

“Investors are turning a bit more cautious given the ECB (meeting) tomorrow (Thursday) as well as the U.S. payrolls (data) on Friday,” said Saxo Bank trader Andrea Tueni.

“It’s not a surprise to see a pause in the rally; stocks have been on fire since the start of the year, some people are cashing in a bit.”

India’s central bank was the latest to surprise markets with a rate cut, lowering its policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent on Wednesday. That was its second inter-meeting cut this year on the back of easing inflation and what it said was the “weak state” of parts of the economy.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 equity index was broadly flat, but shares of Standard Chartered (STAN.L) hit their highest level since October after the bank ruled out plans to raise capital despite reporting a 25 percent slide in annual pretax profits.

German consumer goods group Henkel (HNKG_p.DE) fell 3.7 percent after the company struck a cautious note on its 2015 outlook as it expects stagnation in Eastern Europe and further pressure on the Russian economy and currency over the coming months.

In commodities markets, Brent crude LCOc1 dipped but held above $60 a barrel, supported by a rise in Saudi crude prices and air strikes on facilities in Libya.

Gold prices edged higher after a two-day losing streak, though the metal could remain under pressure due to expectations of robust U.S. economic data and higher U.S. interest rates, while London nickel held around a 14-month low.

(Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson and Emelia Sithole-Matarise; Editing by Susan Fenton)

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.

Market Wrap: Tech Stocks Lead Indexes Fall From Records – DailyFinance

Financial Markets Wall StreetRichard Drew/APBy Sinead Carew

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks finished lower Tuesday, a day after the S&P and Dow hit records, and the Nasdaq retreated along with technology stocks.

Soft auto sales numbers and Iran commentary also gave some investors pause after a strong run-up for major indexes in February. Traders were also waiting for a slew of economic data later this week, culminating with the monthly payrolls report.

We just came a little too far fast. It made sense to have little bit of a pullback here.

“We just came a little too far fast. It made sense to have little bit of a pullback here,” said Brian Lazorishak, portfolio manager at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Given the level of optimism, the overbought condition, we wouldn’t be surprised to see at least a couple of days of consolidation,” he said.

Technology stocks fell as investors took profits a day after the Nasdaq hit the 5,000 milestone for the first time since the peak of the dot.com bubble in March 2000.

Microsoft (MSFT) weighed most on the Nasdaq and S&P 500 with an 1.4 percent drop to $43.28, followed by a 2.2 percent decline in shares of Cisco Systems (CSCO), which gave back most of Monday’s gains.

Semiconductor chips were some of the worst-hit, with the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index closing off 1.94 percent after a February gain of more than 12 percent. The S&P 500 technology sector finished down 0.8 percent

The biggest percentage decliners in the S&P 500 were Micron Technology (MU), down 5 percent to $29.66, and Applied Materials (AMAT), which fell 4.5 percent to $24.48.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 85.26 points, or 0.47 percent, to 18,203.37, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) lost 9.61 points, or 0.45 percent, to 2,107.78 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 28.20 points, or 0.56 percent, to 4,979.90.

Weather-Impacted Auto Sales

For the second year in a row, tough winter weather slowed U.S. vehicle sales in February, with several automakers missing analyst projections. U.S.-listed Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) shares fell 3.3 percent to $15.31 while Ford Motor (F) declined 2.4 percent to $16.17.

Adding to investors’ caution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned U.S. President Barack Obama against accepting a nuclear deal with Iran. His comments caused some investors to pull back but helped boost oil prices.

Utilities and energy were the only two of 10 S&P 500 sectors that ended the session higher.

About 6.3 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 6.5 billion average for the last five sessions, according to BATS Global Markets.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,810 to 1,249, for a 1.45-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,784 issues fell and 948 advanced, for a 1.88-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The benchmark S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq composite recorded 70 new highs and 32 new lows.

With additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak.

What to watch Wednesday:

  • The Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for February at 10 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book survey of regional economic conditions at 2 p.m.
  • While everyone’s heading to Cancun and the Caymans, you can enjoy an equally relaxing and beautiful vacation for less by choosing a destination that isn’t quite so popular.

    Off-the-beaten-path destinations like Roatan, Honduras (pictured), Tobago and Grenada offer sandy beaches and plenty of sun at a more affordable cost than traditional hotspots. If you’re really in the mood for something different, find a city on the map you’ve always been curious about and head to Airbnb to snag discount accommodations there. Airbnb rentals aren’t just rooms in people’s houses; you can also rent a yurt, a modern loft, a houseboat, a beach house and more.

    1. Vacation off the beaten path

  • Enjoy the finer things in life for less than sticker price by learning to be a savvy shopper.

    Sites like Groupon (GRPN), Amazon Local (AMZN) and Scoutmob can help you score great deals on upscale restaurants, travel packages, spa treatments and more. Daily deals sites like Rue La La and Gilt can help you snag luxury and designer goods (clothing, furniture and more) at a fraction of the cost.

    Learn to scope out a good deal and make use of discounts, and you can live like a million bucks for as much as half-price.

    2. Never pay full price

  • In the market for a new car? If you want to splurge a little and get a set of wheels that gets you noticed, consider buying a gently used, preowned vehicle. According to Edmunds.com, you can get a used luxury car for $30,000 or less — the equivalent of buying a new middle-of-the-line four-door sedan.

    No one needs to know your “new-to-you” Acura isn’t technically new; all they’ll know is you’ve got an Acura.

    ​3. Buy a preowned car

  • Gourmet coffee, fresh flowers for your kitchen table, luxury shampoo and shower gel — sometimes the small things can make a big difference in how much we enjoy our day and how pampered we feel. Identify the little things that mean a lot to you and treat yourself with these tiny splurges on a regular basis, while simultaneously cutting costs on big-ticket items like housing and cars. You’d be surprised how much these small treats can boost your mood.

    4. Splurge on small luxuries

  • Move to a city with a lower cost of living — or move from a fancy ZIP code to a more modest neighborhood — and you can get a bigger, nicer-quality home for the same price.

    That said, “bigger” isn’t always “better.” Don’t buy more home than you need; rather, focus on getting the best home for your needs. For instance, you may find you love a modern and updated two-bedroom condo in a nice building much more than you enjoy owning a four-bedroom single-family house that you have to maintain yourself. Or you may discover the opposite. The key is to buy a home that suits you – not the home that society says you should own at a particular stage of life.

    5. Get more home for your money

  • Stock your closet with high-quality, well-constructed staples that will last you year after year and won’t fall out of style. Think: a white button-down shirt, a dark pair of dress pants, a flattering pair of dark wash jeans, a classic coat like a pea coat or trench coat. (Notice that these recommendations apply to both men and women.)

    These foundational pieces can be used to create a wide variety of outfits, and you can keep your look current by updating it each year with a few select accessories like scarves. It’s much less expensive than revamping your whole closet each season to stay on top of the trends.

    6. Build a renewable wardrobe

  • More from Paula Pant

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.

Wall St. falls from records, led by technology stocks – Reuters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 2, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 2, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid


(Reuters) – U.S. stocks finished down on Tuesday, a day after the S&P and Dow hit records, and the Nasdaq retreated with technology stocks.

Soft auto sales numbers and Iran commentary also gave some investors pause after a strong run-up for major indexes in February. Traders were also waiting for a slew of economic data later this week, culminating with the monthly payrolls report.

“We just came a little too far fast. It made sense to have little bit of a pullback here,” said Brian Lazorishak, portfolio manager at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Given the level of optimism, the overbought condition, we wouldn’t be surprised to see at least a couple of days of consolidation,” he said.

Technology stocks fell as investors took profits a day after the Nasdaq hit the 5,000 milestone for the first time since the peak of the dot.com bubble in March 2000.

Microsoft Corp MSFT.O weighed most on the Nasdaq and S&P 500 with an 1.4 percent drop to $43.28, followed by a 2.2 percent decline in shares of Cisco Systems CSCO.O, which gave back most of Monday’s gains.

Semiconductor chips were some of the worst-hit, with the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index .SOX closing off 1.94 percent after a February gain of more than 12 percent. The S&P 500 technology sector .SPLRCT finished down 0.8 percent

The biggest percentage decliners in the S&P 500 were Micron Technology MU.O, down 5 percent to $29.66, and Applied Materials AMAT.O, which fell 4.5 percent to $24.48.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 85.26 points, or 0.47 percent, to 18,203.37, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 9.61 points, or 0.45 percent, to 2,107.78 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 28.20 points, or 0.56 percent, to 4,979.90.

For the second year in a row, tough winter weather slowed U.S. vehicle sales in February, with several automakers missing analysts’ projections. U.S.-listed Fiat Chrysler FCAU.N shares fell 3.3 percent to $15.31 while Ford Motor F.N declined 2.4 percent to $16.17.

Adding to investors’ caution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned U.S. President Barack Obama against accepting a nuclear deal with Iran. His comments caused some investors to pull back but helped boost oil prices.

Utilities .SPLRCU and energy .SPNY were the only two of ten S&P 500 sectors that ended the session higher.

About 6.3 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 6.5 billion average for the last five sessions, according to BATS Global Markets.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,810 to 1,249, for a 1.45-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,784 issues fell and 948 advanced, for a 1.88-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The benchmark S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 70 new highs and 32 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.