Stocks went nowhere in a bit of a see-saw session that saw the markets fall at the open before recovering most of these losses through the day.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,049.00, -19.7, (-0.1%)
- S&P 500: 1,997.45, +1.8, (+0.1%)
- Nasdaq: 4,591.81, +5.3, (0.1%)
And now, the top stories on Thursday:
1. The weekly report on initial jobless claims was a bit disappointing, as claims jumped to 315,000, up from last week’s revised total of 304,000 and more than the 300,000 that was expected by economists. Ian Shepherdson said the miss is “nothing to worry about,” as the Labour Day holiday makes the seasonal adjustment tricky.
2. The U.S. Treasury Department reported a budget deficit of $US128.7 billion in August, down from $US147.9 billion a year ago, and narrower than the $US130 billion expected by economists. Following the report, Jesse Hurwitz at Barclays said, “Increases in receipts this fiscal year have been driven by greater tax receipts as well as a 32% increase in receipts from the Federal Reserve. We look for the budget deficit to continue to narrow through the end of 2014 and into 2015.”
3. The Census Bureau released its latest Quarterly Services Survey, which showed that spending in the healthcare sector rose 3% annualized from the first quarter. Through the first half of this year, healthcare and social assistance spending has increased 3.3% over last year. Following this report, economists at Goldman Sachs raised their Q2 GDP estimates to 4.7%, up from the BEA’s latest estimate that showed GDP grew 4.2% during Q2. Goldman’s report said the QSS survey, “showed a strong bounce-back in healthcare spending in Q2, following weakness in Q1.” Joe LaVorgna at Deutsche Bank raised his Q2 GDP estimate to 4.5% following the report.
4. RadioShack reported quarterly earnings on Thursday, and the story wasn’t so much the company’s $US137 million loss, but the company’s need for more cash. In its filing with the SEC, RadioShack said that, “Given our negative cash flows from operations and in order to meet our expected cash needs for the next twelve months and over the longer term, we will be required to obtain additional liquidity sources, consolidate our store base and possibly restructure our debt and other obligations.”
5. Lululemon shares were up more than 13% on Thursday after reporting earnings and revenue that beat expectations on Thursday. The yoga apparel maker also gave a full-year earnings and revenue outlook that was in-line with expectations after the company in June cut its full-year sales outlook.
6. Apple is planning to ship 80 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones by the end of this year, according to reports. Last year, the company shipped 60 million iPhones over the same period.
7. Social media company CYNK Technology, which earlier this summer made headlines after its market cap rose to $US6 billion despite having no revenue, no assets, and just one employee, was back in the news Thursday after a report from Bloomberg’s Zeke Faux. Faux’s report said the company could be tied to a $US500 million money-laundering scheme recently tied to the same office building in Belize where the company listed its headquarters.