The market is open and stocks are basically flat.
After opening in the green, shares sold off after manufacturing and housing data disappointed.
The Dow is down 4 points, the S&P 500 is down 1 point, and the Nasdaq is down 2 points.
In economic news, initial weekly jobless claims beat expectations, coming at 284,000, lower than the 307,000 that was expected by economists. This was the report’s lowest reading since February 2006.
Some economists, however, are cautious on this data, including Neil Dutta at Renaissance Macro who writes that this data, “likely informs us more about productions than employment,” as July is typically a time when automakers shut down their plants for retooling.
Dutta notes, however, that the underlying trend of weekly claims remains healthy.
Also on the economic data front, Markit’s U.S. preliminary PMI report disappointed, coming at 56.3, below expectations for 57.5. The reading was also below last month’s 57.3 reading.
New home sales data also disappointed, with new home sales falling 8.1% to an annualized rate of 406,000 in June. Economists were expecting sales to fall 5.8%.
Facebook is the top stock story of the day after the social network last night reported earnings and revenue that beat expectations, sending the company’s stock to a new all-time high. Shortly after the market open, Facebook stock was up 6% to $US75.50 per share.
Facebook’s report also showed that the company’s trajectory appears promising in two key areas: user growth and future revenue opportunities.
It’s also been another busy morning for earnings, with Caterpillar reporting earnings that beat expectations, while General Motors’ results disappointed as the carmaker recorded a $US900 million charge on future potential recalls.
Caterpillar also gave its outlook for the world economy, with the heavy truck maker expecting global economic growth of 2.5% in 2014.