Thursday, 25 October 2007

US stock market resilient in face of negative news

Much of yesterday's news was bad, but the stock market held up relatively well. MarketWatch reports the US stock market action.

After shedding more than 200 points, the Dow Industrials ended 1 point lower at 13,675.3, with 15 of its 30 components lower...

The brunt of the selling pressure was seen on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite which settled 24.5 points down, almost 0.9%, at 2,774.76...

The S&P 500 fell 3.71 points to 1,515.88.

Already down, the major stock indexes solidified their losses after the National Association of Realtors reported sales of existing homes and condos fell 8% in September to their lowest level in eight years, with median sales prices down 4.2% in the past year. Read Economic Report.

Losses reported by Merrill along with concerns in the pipeline for Internet retail giant fueled worries about the extent of the damage of the recent credit-related trouble and its impact on the economy.

Hope for an imminent Fed cut was said to be a factor in limiting the loss at the end of the day, but Mark Hulbert points out that the market has recently had a lot of buying support from corporate insiders anyway.

Elsewhere, the data mostly point to further softening of the global economy.

Bloomberg reports the preliminary readings for the eurozone service and manufacturing sector indicators for October.

Growth in Europe's service industries accelerated in October as banks started to recover from higher credit costs sparked by defaults on U.S. subprime mortgages.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc's services index rose to 55.6 from 54.2 in September, according to a preliminary estimate published today...

Manufacturing growth slowed for a fourth month, today's report showed. The manufacturing index dropped to 51.5 from 53.2, the lowest since August 2005. Economists expected a decline to 52.9, according to the median of 33 estimates. A composite index for services and manufacturing fell to 54.5 from 54.7, the weakest reading since September 2005...

Meanwhile in Japan, Bloomberg reports that exports slowed in September.

Japan's exports grew at the slowest pace in two years in September as shipments to the U.S. fell, a signal that the nation's economic expansion may cool because of waning demand in its largest market.

Exports rose 6.5 percent from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo today, less than the 8.1 percent median estimate of 10 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and 14.5 percent in August...

Imports fell 3.2 percent last month, the first drop since February 2004. Oil imports contributed two thirds of the decline, the ministry said. Analysts expected a 0.9 percent increase in the import bill.

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