Thursday, 2 August 2007

Plunge on Wall St cut short, economic data mixed

Stock markets opened down in the US yesterday, but the weakness did not last. Bloomberg reports:

The Dow average erased a 79-point drop spurred by concern mortgage losses are spreading after Bear Stearns Cos. suspended withdrawals from a hedge fund. The S&P 500 climbed after falling below its 200-day moving average for the first time in a year...

The S&P 500 increased 10.54, or 0.7 percent, to 1465.81. The Dow average added 150.38, or 1.1 percent, to 13,362.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 7.6, or 0.3 percent, to 2553.87.

The US economic data yesterday were mixed. Reuters reports:

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity fell last month to 53.8, its lowest since March, and down from 56.0 in June...

A report from ADP showed the private sector created 48,000 jobs in July, below a downwardly revised increase of 143,000 in June as the number of manufacturing jobs fell...

The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in June, rose 5 percent to 102.4 from a downwardly revised index of 97.5 in May...

The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted mortgage applications index dipped 0.3 percent to 607.1 in the week ended July 27. The index sank for a third straight week, to a level just above this year's low of 606.6 in the February 16 week.

In Europe, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc's manufacturing index for the euro area fell to 54.9 in July from 55.6 in June but the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply/NTC purchasing managers' index for the UK rose to 55.7 last month, the highest since July 2004, from an upwardly revised 54.7 in June.

China's manufacturing joined the slowdown group in July. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and the National Bureau of Statistics said the manufacturing index fell to 53.3 in July from 54.5 in June. Meanwhile, the CLSA Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 53.2 from a 27-month high of 55 in June.

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