Stocks retreated today despite solid U.S. economic news this morning.
First the scoreboard:
Dow: 15,635.70 -41.24 -0.26%
S&P500: 1,722.86 -2.66 -0.15%
NASDAQ: 3,790.53 +6.89 +0.18%
And now the top stories:
- Weekly initial jobless claims beat expectations, falling to 309,000 versus 330,000 predicted by analysts.
- The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index surged to 22.3, crushing both expectations for 10.3 and last month’s 9.3 tick. The labour component improved 7 point to 10.3, the most robust measure since last April. Goldman’s Jan Hatzius considers the Philly Fed one of the best predictors of economic growth.
- Existing home sales climbed 1.7% to an annualized rate of 5.25 million, the most in six-and-a-half years.
- JPMorgan agreed to pay a $US920 million fine for its London Whale trading losses. The firm also admitted wrongdoing, a sign that the era of “neither admitting nor denying” charges may be over.
- In a new note, Goldman Sachs said gold will continue to rally in the near-term thanks to the taper and the Congressional quagmire. The yellow metal was up more than 4% today to $US1,365/oz.
- Groupon shares surged nearly 9%. Stifel Nicolaus’ Jordan Rohan upgraded the stock to “buy”, praising the company’s shift away from e-mail and toward mobile.
- Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the U.S. Postal Service is running out of cash and urged a Senate panel to consider a postage rate increase.
- ConAgra quarterly earnings fell 42%, and the company reiterated its reduced guidance for the year, noting consumers were responding negatively to rising prices, the Wall Street Journal reported.
- Pope Francis gave a landmark interview saying the Catholic church needed to focus on being more inclusive and simplifying its message, which many took as a sign he will seek to curb its fixation on social issues.
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