Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Stocks fall despite rise in US factory orders

Stocks fell on Monday as concerns over Europe returned. Bloomberg reports:

The S&P 500 slipped 1.2 percent, the most since Nov. 14, to 1,495.71 in New York, after reaching a five-year high last week. The Dow (INDU) Jones Industrial Average lost 129.71 points, or 0.9 percent, to 13,880.08. More than 6.3 billion shares traded handed on U.S. exchanges today, in line with the three-month average...

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 1.5 percent today. Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy is facing opposition calls to resign amid contested reports about illegal payments, while Deutsche Bank AG said this year’s rally in Italian, as well as Spanish, bonds may falter as Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi narrowed the front-runner’s lead before elections this month.

Spanish 10-year government yields jumped 23 basis points to 5.44 percent. Yields on similar-maturity Italian debt rose 14 basis points to 4.47 percent.

Ironically, stocks fell on the day Sentix reported that its index of investor sentiment in the euro area rose to -3.9 in February from -7.0 in January, its sixth consecutive increase.

The latest economic reports were mixed.

A report on Monday showsed that US factory orders rose 1.8 percent in December. This was less than the 2.3 percent gain expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg and came after orders for November were revised to show a 0.3 percent drop from unchanged previously.

In the UK, a report on Monday showed that the construction sector shrank again in January as the Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index was unchanged at 48.7 level from December.

In contrast, China's services sector continued to grow last month. A report on Sunday had shown that China's official non-manufacturing PMI rose to 56.2 in January from 56.1 in December.

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