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Daily Stock Market News & Commentary
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Stock index futures are little changed on Monday. The Dow is up 0.1%. The S&P 500 is flat and the NASDAQ 100 is trading 0.2% above fair value on GLOBEX.
The major averages are poised to open modestly higher on the first day of March as investors digest updates on U.S. economy. Reports before the open showed personal income rose 0.3% while spending declined 0.2% in January. Additional releases later this morning may reveal construction spending increased 0.3% and the pace of manufacturing activity slowed in February.
Tech is active following a round of M&A news. Aruba Networks is down 1.3% to $24.48 after Hewlett-Packard agreed to buy the company for approximately $2.7 billion. Freescale Semiconductor is 8.7% higher at $39.26 after NXP said it would acquire the chipmaker for $11.8 billion. Shares of Apple are up 0.5% to $129.04 ahead of rival Samsung’s expected unveiling of its new Galaxy smartphone. On the earnings front, Mylan Labs may move ahead of its scheduled quarterly results after the close today.
European markets are down at midsession. The FTSE is off 0.2% in London. The DAX is 0.1% lower in Frankfurt. Asian markets were broadly higher overnight. The Nikkei was up 0.2% in Tokyo. China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.8% after the country’s central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates over the weekend.
Treasuries are lower with the 10-year note down 8/32 to yield 2.02%. In commodities, NYMEX WTI crude is retreating 1.2% to $49.18/barrel. COMEX gold is up 0.2% to $1214.808/ounce.
Stocks are firmly higher at midsession. The Dow is up 109 points to 18242. The S&P 500 is advancing 8 points to 2112. The NASDAQ is climbing 35 points to 4998.
The major averages are experiencing a positive start to March following this morning’s economic data. Before the open, a report showed consumer spending rose on an inflation adjusted basis in January. Additional releases revealed the pace of manufacturing slowed in February while construction spending fell 1.1% in January. The market is also advancing after China’s central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate over the weekend.
Seven of 10 sectors in the S&P 500 are up in the session. Consumer discretionary and tech are the best performing groups. Video game retailer GameStop is climbing 3.6% to $38.31. Shares of Freescale Semiconductor are rallying 11.9% to $40.42 after it agreed to be acquired by NXP for $11.8 billion. In other news, Visa is gaining 1.7% to $275.84 after reaching a deal with Costco to replace American Express as its credit card issuer. Energy is sitting out today’s advance. Noble Corp is falling 5.1% to $15.79 and Ensco is retreating 4.7% to $23.32.
Breadth is on the NYSE positive by 7-5 on issues and even on volume. Composite NYSE volume is 1.4 billion shares. The NASDAQ is 2-1 positive on issues; 12-5 on volume.
Treasuries are declining attributed to speculation of the Fed raising interest rates later this year. Benchmark 10-year notes are down 21/32 to yield 2.07%.
Stocks advanced on Monday. The Dow climbed 155 points to 18288. The S&P 500 advanced 12 points to 2117. The NASDAQ gained 44 points to cross the 5000 level for the first time in 15 years and finish at 5008.
The major averages started March on a strong note as investors digested a deluge of data. PMI’s measure of manufacturing sentiment for February was revised higher to 55.1 from 54.3. However, January’s personal income figures rose 0.3%, less than expected, and its personal spending fell 0.2%, more than anticipated. Similarly, a measure of construction spending unexpectedly declined 1.1%, against estimates for a 0.3% gain.
At the close, eight of the 10 S&P 500 sectors were in positive territory. Consumer discretionary was up the most, as Walt Disney gained 1.7% to $105.89. On the M&A front, Freescale Semiconductor advanced 11.8% to $40.36 after agreeing to be acquired by NXP Semiconductor, which rallied 17.3% to $99.56. Meanwhile, Visa climbed 2.6% to $278.29 after forming a new alliance with Costco.
Composite volume on the NYSE totaled more than 3.4 billion shares. The NYSE was positive by a margin of 7-6 on issues and 11-6 on volume. The NASDAQ was positive by 23-9 on issues and 2-1 on volume.
Treasuries were markedly lower. The 10-year note lost 26/32 to yield 2.09%. The 30-year bond lost almost 2 full points to yield 2.69%.
In commodities, WTI erased earlier gains to finish 0.3% higher to 49.88/barrel. Meanwhile, gold declined 0.6% to $1206.20/ounce.