Global stocks mixed, dollar slips on weak U.S. data - Global stocks mixed, dollar slips on weak U.S. data -

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Global stocks mixed, dollar slips on weak U.S. data -

Global stocks mixed, dollar slips on weak U.S. data -

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global stocks fell and the dollar edged lower on Wednesday as weak U.S. economic data and a still-simmering European debt crisis weighed on sentiment.

Investors snapped up safe-haven debt and gold prices rose toward $1,625 an ounce before paring gains. Oil prices also eased after initially rising on U.S. government data that showed domestic crude 9 edged down 191,000 barrels last week for the second straight week of declines.

Shares of JPMorgan rose above $35 at one point, the biggest contributor to the benchmark S&P 500, but then pared gains to trade up 2.1 percent at $34.49. No damning news came out of Chief Executive Jamie Dimon's testimony before Congress on the firm's multibillion-dollar trading loss.

Investors are expected to remain on tenterhooks ahead of a Greek vote on Sunday and on fears that Spain's financing problems may spread to Italy. The question of whether Greece will remain in the euro zone after the election and the potential impact of Europe's woes on global growth also affected sentiment.

"I would expect a fair amount of market volatility one way or the other, but I don't think the result of the election is going to be anywhere close to a resolution of the issues facing Greece or the issues facing European countries in general," said Michael James, senior trader at regional investment bank Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles.

U.S. stocks traded near break-even for most of the session before falling late in the day. European stocks closed down while shares of emerging markets rose and an index of global stocks edged higher, helped by earlier gains in Asia.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 96.19 points, or 0.77 percent, at 12,477.61. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 10.71 points, or 0.81 percent, at 1,313.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 17.35 points, or 0.61 percent, at 2,825.72.

In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top regional companies closed down 0.3 percent at 990.18.

MSCI's all-country world equity index fell 0.2 percent to 300.73.

Wall Street opened lower as demand for building materials sagged and falling gasoline prices crimped receipts at service stations, dragging retail sales down 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said.

April retail sales were revised to show a 0.2 percent drop instead of the previously reported 0.1 percent gain. Excluding the surge in auto sales, sales fell 0.4 percent, the biggest decline in two years.

The U.S. Labor Department said its producer price index dropped 1.0 percent in May as energy costs slumped 4.3 percent.

Oil prices initially rebounded after a report that crude inventories slipped last week less than forecast, while gasoline and distillate stocks fell, offsetting expectations of a build and helping crude oil to trade higher. But U.S. crude later fell and settled lower.

Brent crude settled down 1 cent at $97.13 a barrel.

U.S. crude futures settle down 70 cents at $82.62 a barrel.

"The market moved higher after the EIA data but the euro's strengthening against the dollar at nearly the same time may have been more responsible for crude's move higher than the data," said Michael Fitzpatrick, editor of industry newsletter Energy Overview in New York.

U.S. Treasuries prices erased losses and turned higher.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose 19/32 in price to yield 1.5978 percent.

Yields on 10-year German bonds fell to 1.495 percent.

"Many now believe that the point of no return is getting nearer with the peripheral (European) economies in a somewhat irreversible dynamic, with their economies depressed and their access to capital markets shrinking," said Lee McDarby at Investec Corporate Treasury.

The dollar fell against the yen, while the U.S. dollar index was down 0.5 percent at 81.985, and the euro was up 0.7 percent at $1.2595.

Spot gold prices were up $8.76 to $1,618.20 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Richard Hubbard in London; Editing by James Dalgleish, Dave Zimmerman and Dan Grebler)

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Stocks may be the best of a bad bunch - Financial Times

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'Diablo 3' real-money auction house European launch date confirmed - Digital Spy

Stocks slip as US waits for direction from Europe - Huffington Post

NEW YORK — U.S stocks struggled to decide which way to go for much of the day Wednesday, then dropped heavily toward the end of trading. A looming election in Greece and the broader debt maelstrom in Europe provided an ominous backdrop.

The major indexes opened in the red, then drifted between small gains and losses for most of the day. But sellers took hold at midafternoon. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 100 points.

In the European debt crisis, the finance minister of Cyprus added to the undercurrent of alarm when he warned that the small island country may seek its own bailout this week.

Spain's 10-year borrowing rate inched up to 6.71 percent from 6.67 percent. Other countries in Europe have had to seek bailouts when their borrowing rates hit 7 percent.

European countries will lend up to $125 billion to Spain's banks, but that has not soothed markets. Investors want more detail about the priority that the Spanish government, which will funnel the money to the banks, will have to place on the debt.

Italy, perhaps the next flashpoint in Europe's debt crisis, had a setback of its own. Its 10-year borrowing rate rose to 6.07 percent from 6.02 percent the day before, and the country had to pay a sharply higher rate in a sale of one-year bonds.

In the Greek election, on Sunday, voters may endorse a party that wants to cancel the terms of Greece's own bailout. That could speed Greece's exit from the euro currency.

Greece's elections are especially hard to read because rules there forbid polling in the two weeks before an election, said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Northern Trust in Chicago.

So "in a void of real developments," McDonald said, investors are hard-pressed to figure out how to trade in Europe.

News about the U.S. economy was hard to read. The government said that retail sales fell in both April and May. But excluding gas station sales, where prices dropped throughout those months, retail sales grew modestly in May.

The Dow Jones industrial average was near the low for the session, at 12,473 in late trading. That was still calm compared with Monday's plunge of 143 points and Tuesday's jump of 163 points.

The S&P 500 index was down 11 points to 1,313, and the Nasdaq was down 27 at 2,816.

Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson in New York, said he's still bullish on U.S. stocks. He thinks their decline throughout May, perhaps a necessary correction, means they're ready to charge ahead.

The market's inability to make up its mind this week, he said, is a result of investors trading on news headlines rather than examining the fundamentals of individual stocks.

"The sovereign debt crisis, the Greek elections, the Egyptian elections – if you are basing an investment strategy around these headlines, you will be paralyzed," Ross said.

The interest rate on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.63 from 1.66 percent. Investors moved money into one of the few places where they think it will be safe, with the U.S. government.

Big movers included JPMorgan Chase, which rose 63 cents to $34.41 after CEO Jamie Dimon testified to Congress about the bank's surprise $2 billion trading loss. Dell jumped 37 cents to $12.34 after the computer maker said it would begin paying its first shareholder dividend. Cigarette maker Philip Morris International rose $1 to $86.01 after announcing it will buy back more of its own stock.

Scotts Miracle-Gro, which makes lawn-care products, fell $2.55 to $40.50 after issuing weak forecasts for profit and revenue. Cobalt International Energy fell $1.41 to $21.63 after announcing it will abandon a Gulf of Mexico well that hasn't yielded any commercial hydrocarbons. Nike fell $6.04 to $101.56.

World stocks struggle as crisis fears weigh - The Guardian


AP Business Writer= BRUSSELS (AP) — European stocks slipped Wednesday as concern that the continent's debt crisis is infecting the world economy offset hopes the U.S. might unveil more stimulus measures.

While stocks opened initially up in Europe, the bad news from the continent quickly set in. Investors are nervously awaiting Greek elections on Sunday, when a party that's threatening to renege on the country's bailout terms could come away the big winner. That might force the country out the euro.

Attention is also focused on Spain, where borrowing costs rose to euro-era highs on Tuesday, increasing concerns that it could need a bailout. The country agreed last weekend to take a rescue package to help it shore up its banks, but investors worry the government may have trouble repaying the loans.

The debt crisis is not just rattling financial markets, but also affecting households and businesses by creating uncertainty over the future of the economy. The latest report from Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, showed industrial production in April among the 17 countries that use the euro slipped 0.8 percent. Analysts noted that even that poor showing is worse than it seems because a cold Spring pushed up energy demand.

"Each day brings us closer to the Greek elections, an event that might be seen in years to come as the moment when the single European currency truly began to fall apart," said Chris Beauchamp, a market analyst with IG Index. "It all remains up in the air, and it is this uncertainty that is holding markets in check."

In Europe, stocks initially eked out small gains on the back of comments by a Federal Reserve official in support of more measures to stimulate the economy. But they were quickly erased.

France's CAC-40 dropped 0.5 percent to 3,033, while the DAX in Germany fell the same rate to 6,129. The FTSE index of leading British shares moved down 0.1 percent to 5,469.

The euro was volatile, but moved up 0.4 percent to $1.2550.

The U.S. was set to open lower, with Dow futures down 4 points at 12,510 and S&P 500 futures 2 points lower at 1,318.10..

Earlier in Asia, stocks had an equally choppy session.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.6 percent to close at 8,587.84, after machinery orders rose 5.7 percent to the highest level in four years, Kyodo reported.

South Korea's Kospi swung temporarily into negative territory in early trading before closing 0.2 percent higher at 1,859.32. Hong Kong's Hang Seng also briefly dipped before rising 0.8 percent to 18,026.52.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2 percent to 4,063.80. Benchmarks in New Zealand and Singapore fell but Taiwan's rose.

Mainland Chinese shares rose on hopes authorities would bring in more economy-boosting measures. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 1.3 percent to 2,318.92 while the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index gained 1.8 percent to 959.11. Shares in biotechnology, insurance and power-related companies led the gains.

Amid concerns for the economy, which drives down energy demand, benchmark oil for July delivery fell 6 cents to $82.26 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong and Fu Ting in Shanghai contributed to this report.

Stocks Waver in Thin Trading; JPM Advances - CNBC

Stocks accelerated their losses in the final hour of trading Wednesday, amid ongoing nervousness over the euro zone and after credit-rating agency Egan-Jones downgraded Spain's credit rating to CCC+ from B.

Even financials, which had helped stocks hold small gains for most of the session, dipped into negative territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped after struggling between small gains and losses. JPMorgan led the blue-chip gainers, while AmEx [AXP  Loading...      ()   ] dragged.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also fell. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, jumped above 24.

Among the key S&P sectors, telecoms and financials led the gainers, while materials lagged.

Stocks have been volatile all week amid thin volume, with all three major indexes swinging more than 1 percent in either direction in the last two sessions.

JPMorgan [JPM  Loading...      ()   ] CEO Jamie Dimon apologized for the bank's $2 billion trading loss, and told the Senate Banking Committee that it was an "isolated incident." The CEO was jeered by angry protestors ahead of his testimony. Shares added to gains following the hearing, but are still down almost 15 percent since the loss was revealed on May 10. Meanwhile, Oppenheimer cut its price target on the bank to $56 from $58.

European shares ended lower as investors hesitated to jump in amid the ongoing tension in the region and ahead of the Greek election over the weekend. Adding to woes, Greek bankers said up to 800 million euros ($1 billion) were exiting major banks daily with some of the money was being used to stock up on pasta and canned goods ahead of Sunday's elections.

“The headline risk in the market is at the highest I’ve ever seen and reactions are extremely temperamental,” said Keith Bliss, senior vice president at Cuttone & Co. “[The volatility] will certainly continue through at least the Presidential election…There’s going to be a lot of choppiness leading up to that and I definitely don’t think we’ll reach any type of viable resolution in Europe for a long time.”

Target [TGT  Loading...      ()   ] rose after the retailer raised its quarterly dividend to 36 cents a share from 30 cents a share.

Dell [DELL  Loading...      ()   ] jumped to lead the S&P 500 gainers after the PC maker announced it will offer shareholders a dividend of 32 cent a share per year, or 8 cents a quarter.

Johnson & Johnson [JNJ  Loading...      ()   ] advanced after the drugmaker said it expects the $19.7 billion acquisition of Swiss medical device maker Synthes to slightly boost profit this year. In addition, at least three brokerages raised their rating on the company.

Scotts Miracle-Gro [SMG  Loading...      ()   ] plunged after the lawn care and service company said it would miss its full-year outlook on weak demand during the peak gardening season. In addition, RBC slashed its price target on the firm to $38 from $48.

Zynga [ZNGA  Loading...      ()   ] rose slightly after.o> Evercore Partners raises its rating on the online gaming company to "equal weight" from "underweight." The upgrade comes a day after Zynga shares hit an all-time low amid worries that the Facebook-gaming fad has passed its peak. Facebook shares [FB  Loading...      ()   ] rallied for a second day, trading near $28 a share.

On the economic front, producer prices tumbled 1 percent in May as energy costs fell the most since March 2009, according to the Labor Department.

Retail sales fell for a second month, slipping 0.2 percent in May, according to the Commerce Department. Meanwhile, business inventories rose 0.4 percent to a record $1.58 trillion in April, pointing to continued careful management of stocks.

Oil prices slipped even after the EIA's inventory data showed crude supplies declined last week. Investors will be waiting for headlines from the OPEC meeting later this week.

Treasury prices extended their gains after the government auctioned $21 billion in 10-year notes at a high yield of 1.622 percent and bid-to-cover of 3.06.

—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

Coming Up This Week:

THURSDAY: CPI, jobless claims, current account, 30-yr bond auction, AOL shareholders mtg; Earnings from Kroger, Smithfield Foods, Pier 1 Imports
FRIDAY: Empire state mfg survey, treasury int'l capital, industrial production, consumer sentiment, credit card default rates reported, quadruple witching

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This Father's Day, Teach Your Kids Financial Responsibility - Huffington Post

As parents, we hope we're doing a good job raising our children -- teaching them right from wrong, instilling in them the desire to learn and demonstrating how to manage money responsibly. But what if they see us preaching one behavior while practicing another? What's to stop them from following in our sometimes misguided footsteps?

As Father's Day approaches, let me share a few things dads can do to teach their kids sound financial habits that will last them a lifetime and point out a few behaviors to avoid that you may not even be aware of.

First, try to set a good example with your own financial habits. If you consistently spend beyond your means, don't save for emergencies and don't follow a budget, you risk having your kids imitate your behavior or adopt the same attitude toward money, setting themselves up for problems down the road.

Ask yourself a few basic questions about financial habits they may be learning from you:

  • Do you avoid conversations about money with your kids because that's how you were raised, or because you don't feel qualified to give advice?

  • Do you pay your bills on time to prevent late fees and possible dings to your credit score?

  • Do you balance your checkbook regularly to avoid overdrafts and bounced checks?

  • When money is tight, do you choose wisely between needs and wants -- paying the utility bill vs. buying a pay-per-view event?

  • Have you set up an emergency fund -- and are you disciplined enough not to tap it for everyday expenses?

  • Are you sometimes caught off-guard by bills you should be anticipating (rent, insurance, car payments, income tax)?

  • If your family is experiencing financial difficulties (layoff, foreclosure, massive bills), are you having age-appropriate, non-traumatic discussions about the need for everyone to make sacrifices?

  • Do you complain about your job within their earshot or say you'd rather stay home with them but need to earn money? You could be setting them up to resent both work and money.

  • If college is on the horizon, have you had frank discussions about how it will be financed? Have you started a college savings fund, explored student loan programs or discussed contributions they'll be expected to make?

  • When your kids constantly break or lose expensive items or run through their allowance early, do you repeatedly bail them out with no consequences?

Okay, that's a lot of potentially negative outcomes. Let's concentrate on a few positive actions you can take that will encourage responsible financial behavior in your kids:

Use allowances to teach your kids how to handle money wisely, not as a tool to reinforce good behavior. Track their discretionary expenses (toys, candy) and non-discretionary (school supplies, clothes) expenses. Depending on their age and maturity level, decide which expenses they should be responsible for managing and dedicate a reasonable amount for each category in their allowances.

Start out slowly with only a few discretionary expenses, then gradually add others and increase their allowances as they become more confident. Don't be afraid to let them make a few mistakes -- that's part of the learning process. Better to stumble and recover now than in adulthood when the stakes are much higher.

A few other suggestions:

  • Use allowances to teach important life lessons. For example, build in dedicated percentages your kids must set aside for savings, charitable contributions and investments -- then involve them in choosing how the money is spent.

  • The same goes for cash gifts from the grandparents and tooth fairy visits.

  • When you use an ATM in front of young kids, explain that the money it spits out isn't free, but rather has been earned and saved by you. Also explain the penalty for withdrawing more than your account holds.

  • To encourage saving during these times of low interest rates, offer to match their savings at 50 percent. That way, when they're eligible for a 401(k) later on, they'll understand the concept of matching contributions and be more likely to enroll.

  • Teach by example. If money is tight and you have to deny your kids non-necessary items, give up something of your own that they know you'll miss.

  • Open a 529 Qualified State Tuition Plan or a Coverdell Education Savings Account to start saving for your children's education -- and let them know about it well before you start discussing college choices. To learn about 529 Plans, read the guides at FinAid and the Securities and Exchange Commission. IRS Publication 970 discusses both 529 Plans and Coverdell Accounts.

Father's Day is when children traditionally express love for their dads. Show how much you care in return by starting them out with a healthy, realistic attitude toward personal finances.

This article is intended to provide general information and should not be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a legal, tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to you and about your individual financial situation.

Follow Jason Alderman on Twitter:

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rallies on miners, banks - Reuters UK

Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

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