The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

April 4, 2013

Wall street stocks little changed; Best Buy soars

NEW YORK — Stocks were little changed on Wall Street ahead of the release of the government's March employment report Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up six points, or 0.05 percent, to 14,557 as of 12:45 p.m. EDT Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose one point, or 0.06 percent, to 1,555. The Nasdaq composite slipped seven points to 3,212.

Signs that the economy cooled in March has dampened optimism about the U.S. recovery and pushed stocks down from record levels. The Dow fell 111 points Wednesday, its biggest drop in more than a month, following weak reports on hiring and service industries. On Monday an industry group reported that U.S. manufacturing growth slowed unexpectedly last month.

There was more discouraging economic news Thursday. The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose to a four-month high of 385,000 last week, the Labor Department said. The government will issue its employment report Friday, which investors look at closely for insight into how the U.S. economy is doing.

"The trend seems to be worsening," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "We're seeing a little hesitation in anticipation of tomorrow's job report."

The stock market got off to a great start in 2013. The Dow climbed 10 percent in the first three months of the year and closed at a record high of 14,662 Tuesday. Investors were cheered by signs that the housing market was recovering and that hiring was picking up. Rising company earnings and continuing Federal Reserve stimulus also boosted demand for stocks.

"Investors have been looking for a reason to sell, given the rally we've seen in the market in the past couple of months," said Joseph Tanious at JPMorgan Funds. "Today, you're seeing investors come back into the market and buy on the dip."

Safer industry groups rose Thursday. Telecommunications companies and utilities led the gains for the S&P 500, rising 0.9 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.

Japanese stocks jumped and the yen sank after the country's central bank announced aggressive measures for getting the world's third-largest economy out of a two-decade slump. The Bank of Japan, under new Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, surprised markets by saying it would greatly increase the country's money supply with the goal of encouraging people and businesses to borrow and spend. The yen weakened 3.5 percent against the dollar, to 96.16 yen, while Tokyo's Nikkei stock index rose 2.2 percent to 12,634.54.

U.S.-listed shares of Japanese automakers rose sharply. A weaker yen would make Japanese vehicles less expensive in markets outside Japan, and therefore more competitive. The U.S. shares of Toyota rose $4.47, or 4.4 percent, to $105.31, Honda's rose $1.88, or 5.1 percent, to $39.08 and the Nissan's rose 84 cents, 4.5 percent, to $19.66. Japanese electronics makers also rose. Sony rose 47 cents, or 3 percent, to $16.90 and Panasonic rose 18 cents, also 3 percent, to $6.61.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, fell to 1.77 percent from 1.81 percent a day earlier. The yield on the note has fallen over the last month as demand for less risky assets increased following the crisis in Cyprus and signs of a slowdown in the U.S. The yield was as high as 2.06 percent on March 11.

Among stocks making big moves, electronics retailer Best Buy jumped 12 percent, or $2.42, to $24.15 after saying it would collaborate with the Korean company Samsung to open Samsung kiosks in its retail outlets.

MetroPCS rose 20 cents, or 2 percent, to $11.16 after Reuters reported that Deutsche Telekom is considering amending the terms of the proposed merger between its T-Mobile USA business and local rival Metro PCS.

 

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • Missouri executes inmate for 1993 farm slaying

    Missouri executed an inmate early Wednesday only a few miles from the farm where prosecutors say he orchestrated the 1993 killing of a couple whose cows he wanted to steal.

    April 23, 2014

  • Pro-Russian insurgents hold US journalist captive

    Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine admitted on Wednesday that they are holding an American journalist, saying he was suspected of unspecified "bad activities."

    April 23, 2014

  • Beautiful Bulldogs.jpg Lucey is tops in Iowa's 'Beautiful Bulldog' event

    Lucey is a slobbering 18-month-old pooch whose human family dreams of making her a therapy dog.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sherpas leave Everest; some expeditions nix climbs

    Sherpa guides packed up their tents and left Mount Everest's base camp Wednesday in an unprecedented walkout to honor 16 of their colleagues who were killed last week in the deadliest avalanche ever recorded on the mountain, climbers said.

    April 23, 2014

  • FBI investigates suspected serial child molester

    The FBI asked for the public's help Tuesday to identify at least 90 potential victims of a suspected child predator who worked at 10 American and other international schools abroad for more than four decades before committing suicide last month in Minnesota.

    April 22, 2014

  • Australia signals deeper search for Malaysian jet

    Australia may use more powerful sonar equipment that can delve deeper beneath the Indian Ocean in the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet as the prime minister said Wednesday that failure to find any clue in the most likely crash site would not spell the end of the search.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field

    During a recent game at Wrigley Field, John Weber was using a pencil and scorecard to expertly track the game between his hometown Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 86-year-old retired transit worker figures he is an increasingly rare kind of baseball fan.

    April 22, 2014

  • Comcast 1Q earns surge on upbeat NBC results

    Comcast Corp. said Tuesday that its first-quarter net income rose by 30 percent as ad revenue surged at broadcast network NBC, helped by the Winter Olympics in Sochi and Jimmy Fallon's elevation as host of "The Tonight Show."

    April 22, 2014

  • General Motors seeks more protection from suits

     General Motors Co. has filed suit in a U.S. bankruptcy court asking a judge to protect the company from legal claims for actions that took place before it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009.

    April 22, 2014

  • Disney's 'It's a Small World' turns 50 The timeless Disney tune "It's a Small World" that wafts through our memories from past theme park vacations turns 50 this year.

    April 21, 2014