Stocks got crushed across the board, with the Nasdaq logging the largest percentage loss while the Dow lost more than 300 points and the small cap Russell 2000 index lost more than 2%.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,563.30, -317.1, (-1.88%)
- S&P 500: 1,930.67, -39.4, (-2%)
- Nasdaq: 4,369.77, -93.2, (-2.1%)
And now, the top stories on Thursday:
1. On the economic data front, the Chicago purchasing managers index fell more than it has in one month since 2008, coming in at 52.6 for June against 62.6 in May. Economists were looking for the index to climb to 63.0. “A monthly fall of this magnitude has not been seen since October 2008 and left the Barometer at its lowest level since June 2013,” MNI Chicago said in its press release. “In spite of the sharp decline this month, feedback from purchasing managers was that they saw the downturn as a lull rather than the start of a new downward trend.”
2. Weekly initial jobless claims came in at 302,000, just above the 300,000 that was expected by economists. Last week’s number, however, was revised down to 279,000 from 284,000, as the four-week moving average of initial jobless claims fell to its lowest level since April 15, 2006. Following the report, Michael Gapen at Barclays said the report suggests modest improvement in labour markets, adding that, “We view the weekly rebound in claims off of last week’s unexpectedly large decline as reflecting volatility stemming from the annual auto industry shutdown for retooling auto production plants.”
3. Last night, Argentina defaulted on $US1.3 billion worth of debt it owes to hedge fund creditors, and following the news, Argentina’s stock market took a serious hit, as the Merval lost more than 7%.
4. Amid the sell-off in the major stock indices, a number of individual companies took a beating, including Valeant Pharmaceuticals and 3D Systems. Valeant, the Canadian Pharmaceutical company that is seeking to acquire Botox-maker Allergan, fell 8% after its full-year earnings and revenue outlook disappointed. 3D Systems, which made 3-D printers, fell 11% after reporting earnings and revenue that came in below expectations.
5. In mergers and acquisitions news, French telecom company Iliad made an offer to acquire T-Mobile in a deal that values the company at $US36.20 per share. T-Mobile, which also reported earnings this morning that showed revenue grew 8% in the second quarter, acknowledged that it received an offer from Iliad, but said it had no further comment. Following the news, T-Mobile shares gained more than 5%, while shares of Sprint, which has been seeking to acquire T-Mobile for some time, fell 6%.
6. German athletic apparel maker Adidas issued a statement this morning that had two pieces of bad news: the turmoil in Russia will weigh on the company’s profit, and golf sales are lagging. Adidas said that, “[T]he recent trend change in the Russian rouble as well as increasing risks to consumer sentiment and consumer spending from current tensions in the region point to higher risks to the short-term profitability contribution from Russia/CIS.” The company also said that sales in its TaylorMade-adidas Golf segment fell 18%, yet another indication of golf’s struggles.
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