Stocks were lower, but closed well off their worst levels, as the market recovered from an early session tumble to close little change.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,846.13, -21.4, (-0.13%)
- S&P 500: 1,957.2, -2.3, (-0.12%)
- Nasdaq: 4,379.05, -0.7, (0.02%)
And now, the top stories of the day:
1) Weekly jobless claims fell to 312,000 from last week’s revised reading of 314,000. Expectations were for 310,000. Following the report, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macro said, “In one line: Trend hits a new cycle low… Slightly disappointing given relatively favourable seasonals but the weekly data are noisy and the eight-week moving average dipped to a new cycle low of 313.4K, down from 344.5K at the same point last year. The decline in the trend is consistent with a clear acceleration in payroll gains to something close to 250K. That’s not our June forecast — not least because the seasonals for this month look very odd and could generate a soft-looking number — but we think it’s a reasonable expectation for Q3, given the clear strengthening in the small business sector, where most net new jobs are created.”
2) The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its latest Personal Income and Outlays report, which showed personal spending in May increased 0.2%, below expectations for 0.4%. The report showed that personal income grew 0.4%, in line with estimates. The report also included core PCE, the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, which showed prices rose 1.5% year-over-year, excluding the cost of food and fuel. Following the report, Cooper Howes at Barclays said the softer-than-expected personal spending lowered his Q2 GDP tracking estimate to 2.9% from 4%. Following the spending and inflation report, Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ said, “Don’t start betting on those 3% GDP numbers yet, but the report on July 30 will have the annual benchmark revision so the story could still change. Basically, current labour market conditions are fully normal, with unemployment claims at 312K, but the Fed is worried about those left behind, the long term unemployed. Is inflation enough of a worry for them? Not yet probably, PCE inflation is 1.8% today and core PCE inflation is 1.5%. However, the economy is moving forward and rates are very low, so we still expect the Fed to start raising rates by June next year because they have a long way to go. Until then, sit back and relax. The market isn’t going anywhere.”
3) In the U.K., the Bank of England announced two measures to amend lending standards for mortgages in an effort to limit risks to financial stability from an increase in household indebtedness. The announcement from the BoE comes two weeks after BoE Governor Mark Carney said the central bank could raise rates before the market expects. Housing prices in the U.K. were up 9.9% year-over-year in April, which housing prices in London exploding, gaining 18.7% over last year.
4) The Japanese government could be putting pressure on Tesla sales. BI’s Rob Wile reports that a new measure announced by the Japanese government, which is set to provide additional support for the country’s fuel-cell vehicle industry, could indirectly pressure sales of Tesla. Tesla’ per-capita penetration of electric vehicles in Japan matches what it enjoys in the U.S.
5) GoPro, which sells wearable cameras, made its debut on the Nasdaq today, and shares of the company climbed more than 30% to close above $US31 after the initial public offering priced at $US24 last night.
6) Barclays shares fell more than 7% after New York Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman filed a fraud lawsuit against the firm due to misrepresentations it made regarding its “dark pool” trading venue.