Stocks battled back from early weakness and are trading mixed Thursday morning. An hour into the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 14 points, but the NASDAQ is modestly higher.
Stock index futures moved higher earlyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âthe day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 120 points on soothing words from the Federal Reserve. At the conclusion of itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s two-day meeting Wednesday, the Fed noted the economy was showing some signs of stability, but that inflation and interest rates were likely to remain low for quite some time.
Overseas equity markets rallied around the idea and the gains in global markets set a positive tone for trading in the US Thursday morning.
However, stock index futures came off their best levels following a round of surprisingly weak economic data. A report on retail sales showed an unexpected dip of .1 percent in July, which was below the .8 percent in June and also significantly worse than the .8 percent economists were expecting.
Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims rose by 4,000 to 558,000 last week, according to the Labor Department. Economists were looking for a decline of 9,000.
The weak data weighed on the equity market early, but the major averages battled back and are little changed mid-morning.
Bonds saw a lift. The benchmark ten-year Treasury bond, which was down 13/32nd prior to the data, is up a few ticks and yields 3.67 percent. Bonds arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t out of the woods yet, however, as a record $15 billion auction of 30 years is due out at 13:00 eastern time.
Crude (Sep) gained 82 cents to $70.98 and natural gas is heating up on bullish inventory dataÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âup 2.3 cents to $3.50. Gold (October) gained $5.6 to $957 and silver (Sep) is making a run towards $15.
Among the stocks to watch, Wal-mart (WMT) is holding modest gains and helping to offset weakness in the retailers after reporting quarterly earnings of 88 cents, which beat Street views by 2 cents.
Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS), Urban Outfitters (URBN), and Monsanto (MON) are also seeing a lift from earnings news. KohlÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s (KSS), LDK Solar (LDK), and Netease (NTES) are seeing post earnings weakness.
Retailers JC Penney (JCP) and Abercombie (ANF) report tomorrow before the bell. Inflation (CPI), industrial production, and consumer sentiment numbers are also due out Friday morning.
Category: Market Update
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Frederic Ruffy is a well-known trader, writer, and strategist who has spent years educating investors and creating intelligent, insightful, unbiased market observations that are frequently cited by the Wall Street Journal and other financial publications. As senior analyst, Fred provides frequent and regular notes and daily updates for activity of interest.