Stocks rallied for a second straight session on a day of plenty economic data releases, and ahead of the June jobs numbers due on Thursday. Greece’s government is encouraging a “No” vote in the referendum on Sunday.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,722.89, +103.38, (0.59%)
- S&P 500: 2,073.57, +10.46, (0.51%)
- Nasdaq: 5,004.88, +18.02, (0.36%)
And now, the top stories on Wednesday:
- Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras wants citizens to vote “No” on Sunday. In a speech, Tsipras said the government would protect their deposits and pensions, as banks remained closed for a third day. He said people who say the referendum is about euro membership are “lying knowingly.” Before the speech, a letter leaked, showing that the government was ready to accept most of the creditors’ demands for a bailout offer.
- Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis also wants Greeks to vote “No,” and published a blog post with six short reasons why. Among them, Greece’s debt should not be paid in future by the country’s children and grandchildren — its “weakest members” of society, and the IMF and US believe the debt should be restructured. According to Reuters, public opinion indicates that the country is likely to vote “No.”
- US economic data was plenty. Private payrolls grew by 237,000 in June (218,000 expected,) the highest since December 2014, according to ADP. The May print was revised upwards to 203,000 from 201,000. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said in the release, “The US job machine remains in high gear. The current robust pace of job growth is double that needed to absorb the growth in the working age population.”
- US auto sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 17.1 million in June, just below the consensus estimate of 17.2 million. Nissan led the month with a 13.3% increase in sales, and Chrysler surpassed Ford for the first time ever.
- The June Purchasing Managers’ Index from Markit came in at 53.6, ahead of expectations for 53.4, but at the lowest level since October 2013. “Purchasing managers are reporting the slowest rate of manufacturing expansion for over a year and a half, suggesting that the economy is slowing again,” said Chris Williamson, Markit chief economist, in the release.
- ISM Manufacturing came in at 53.5 (53.2 expected,) and the factory index was the best reading of the year. The employment index grew 3.8% to 55.5, while new orders ticked up to 56.0 from 55.8. “We do not expect a robust rebound given the lingering effects of a stronger dollar and lower oil prices; however, we view a modest H2 manufacturing rebound as increasingly likely,” wrote Barclays economists in a note to clients after the release.
- Construction spending jumped 0.8% in May, beating the forecast for a 0.4% gain.
- Shares of major airline carriers slumped following a report that the Justice Department is investigating them for colluding to hike prices. Shares of Delta and American Airlines fell more than 4%, and JetBlue slipped more than 5%. According to the AP, the carriers removed unprofitable flights and worked to slow growth so as to raise fares.
- US commercial crude oil inventories rose for the first time in nine weeks last week, missing what would have been a record streak of declines. According to the Energy Information Administration, commercial crude inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels in the week ending June 26. The total number of barrels in storage to 465.4 million, still at an 80-year high for this time of year.
- West Texas Intermediate crude oil tanked more than 4% to the lowest level in at least 10 weeks. WTI fell to as low as $US56.70 per barrel.
- There’s an insurance mega company coming: Ace Limited is acquiring Chubb for $US28.3 billion. Chubb shareholders will receive $US62.93 per share in cash and 0.6019 in Ace shares. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. The deal will help the companies provide better insurance coverage for their rich clients’ mansions and yachts, according to Bloomberg.
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