Wealth Manager - Essential news for investment professionals

Register to get unlimited access to all of Citywire’s Fund Manager database. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

Overnight Markets: Wall Street mostly up on jobless data

Overnight Markets: Wall Street mostly up on jobless data

Wall Street mostly gained on Thursday, with the S&P 500 registering yet another record high, on upbeat jobless claims data and the European Central Bank's move to keep rates unchanged.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 62 points or 0.38%, to end at 16,422. The S&P 500 gained three points or 0.17%, to finish at 1,877. The Nasdaq Composite dropped six points or 0.13%, to close at 4,352.

Shares rose after weekly applications for US unemployment insurance declined to 323,000, the lowest in three months. Another data showed new orders for US factory goods fell more than expected in January and shipments also slipped.

However, investors were cautious ahead of Friday's all-important US nonfarm payrolls report and tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum for 10 days' time on the decision in a dramatic escalation of the crisis in the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula.

The European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged at a record low of 0.25% yesterday, as stronger inflation and economic output reduced the need for officials to take action.

The day's biggest gainers were stocks in basic materials, financial and industrial sectors, often associated with strong economic fundamentals.

Among individual stocks, Yum! Brands Inc. gained 3.3% after Robert W. Baird & Co. raised the stock’s rating. Sangamo Biosciences Inc. surged 17% after the company said its experimental treatment lowered the amount of HIV in some AIDS patients.

Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. climbed 4.2% after getting regulatory approval for manufacturing stem-cell therapy products. In the financial sector, JP Morgan Chase & Co. jumped 1.3%.

On the negative side, Staples (SPLS.O) lost 15.3% after the largest US office supplies retailer forecast a decline in sales. Staples also said it would close up to 225 stores in the US and Canada by 2015.

Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O) fell 2.8% after the warehouse retailer reported a bigger-than-expected 15% decline in quarterly profit.

In Asia, share gained on Friday in late morning session after US jobless claims declined and the yen held near a five-week low against the dollar.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5% to 139 as of 9:42 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index climbed 0.8% today as the yen traded at 103.02 per dollar. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.3% to a 5 1/2-year high. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed at a record. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed, while the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.3%.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play Sarasin’s Boucher: why I like salmon with chocolate

Sarasin’s Boucher: why I like salmon with chocolate

Henry Boucher, manager of the £129 million Sarasin Food & Agriculture Opportunities fund, explains why he is gobbling up salmon and chocolate stocks.

Play Alibaba hype, the UK slowdown and opportunities in European sovereign bonds

Alibaba hype, the UK slowdown and opportunities in European sovereign bonds

Libby Ashby and leading wealth managers analyse what the Alibaba IPO hype means for Chinese equities, slowing growth of the UK economy and whether there’s anything left to play for in the European sovereign bond market.

Play Tesco, Japan and the rise of the central banker

Tesco, Japan and the rise of the central banker

 Libby Ashby and leading wealth managers scrutinise the food retail sector, Japan’s consumption tax hike and political risk in the markets.

Your Business: Cover Star Club

Veteran banker boosts Sanlam’s stockbroking team

Veteran banker boosts Sanlam’s stockbroking team

A veteran private banker has been recruited by Sanlam Private Investments to strengthen its advisory stockbroking team.

Wealth Manager on Twitter