Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


While you were sleeping: Solid US eco data

While you were sleeping: Solid US eco data

May 2 (BusinessDesk) – Wall Street was mixed, with the Dow Jones slipping from the previous day’s record-high close, as investors awaited the government’s monthly employment data due Friday.

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.24 percent, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index inched 0.04 percent lower. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.24 percent. On Wednesday, the Dow closed at a record high 16,580.84.

Declines in shares of IBM and Microsoft, down 1.6 percent and 1 percent respectively, outweighed gains in shares of Merck and Verizon, up 1.4 percent and 0.6 percent respectively, and dragging the Dow lower.

Some of the momentum stocks hammered in recent weeks – Facebook, Netflix and Yelp – rebounded.

The latest data underpinned the US Federal Reserve’s comments, made yesterday in a statement at the end of a two-day meeting, that “growth in economic activity has picked up recently.” It also helped lower concern about the latest GDP data which had shown earlier this week that the world’s largest economy barely grew in the first three months of this year.

US consumer spending rose 0.9 percent in March, the largest increase in more than for years, following a 0.5 percent increase in February, according to the Commerce Department. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of national factory activity advanced to 54.9 in April, from 53.7 in March.

“The weakness in growth we saw in the first quarter is not indicative of what is going on in the economy,” Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group, told Reuters. “The fundamentals continue to look pretty good, the economy has momentum.”

Indeed, Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates in St. Petersburg, Florida, told Bloomberg News, “the second quarter is going to be much stronger than the first.”

To be sure, initial claims for state unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose, climbing 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 344,000 though the caveat in assessing the numbers is that normal business operations were slowed by the Easter and Passover breaks.

A report on Wednesday had shown US private employers added a better-than-expected 220,000 workers in April, the highest number since November.

Friday’s report is expected to show nonfarm payrolls increased by 210,000 last month, according to a Reuters survey, following a gain of 192,000 in March. A Bloomberg News poll predicts an increase of 215,000. The jobless rate is forecast to fall to 6.6 percent.

Shares of Yelp jumped, last up 9.2 percent, after reporting solid results, which also helped bolster the appeal of other internet stocks had been beaten down recently.

“When you have a group that has been beaten up over the past month, along with a market that is setting new highs, that's a cue for momentum players to come back into the market," Michael Matousek, head trader at US Global Investors in San Antonio, told Reuters. "Internet is the place to be today."

In Europe, many markets were closed for the May 1 holiday. The UK’s FTSE 100 ended with a gain of 0.4 percent from the previous close.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Our Fresh Water: Monitoring Report Confirms Serious Challenges For Rivers

• nitrogen levels are getting worse at 55 percent and getting better at 28 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand • phosphorus levels are getting better at 42 percent and getting worse at 25 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand More>>

ALSO:

Stats: Wind And Geothermal Emerge As Significant Sources Of Energy

Geothermal’s contribution to New Zealand’s total renewable energy generation increased from 11.5 percent in 2007 to 21 percent in 2015.... The value of wind jumped from $238 million (2 percent of total renewable energy generation) in 2007 to $884 million (6 percent) in 2015. More>>

Errors Found: Electricity Authority Dumps Transmission Pricing Modelling

The Electricity Authority is ditching the cost-benefit analysis at the heart of its controversial attempt to find a new way to divide up costs for the national grid after finding an expanding range of serious computational errors in the work by Australian consultancy Oakley Greenwood. More>>

ALSO:

New Record: Migrant Arrivals At 129,500 A Year

Annual net migration has been steadily increasing since 2012. "This was mainly due to the rising number of migrant arrivals to New Zealand," population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. "Fewer migrant departures also contributed to the increase in net migration." More>>

ALSO:

Launched: NASA's Super Pressure Balloon Takes Flight From NZ

NASA successfully launched its football-stadium-sized, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand, at10:50 a.m. Tuesday, April 25 (6:50 p.m. April 24 in U.S. Eastern Time), on a mission designed to run 100 or more days floating at 110,000 feet (33.5 km) about the globe in the southern hemisphere's mid-latitude band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news