(By Balachander) U.S. stocks ended on a mixed note as downbeat earnings guidance from economic bellwether FedEx and worries about the economic situation in Spain weighed on the sentiment.
S&P 500 Index retreated 0.13 percent to finish at 1,459.33. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.09 percent to end at 13,564.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.03 percent to close at 3,177.80.
Uncertainty over how soon Spain would consider requesting for a bailout package contributed to the losses even as euro area finance ministers remained divided over the European Commission's proposal on the banking union.
On the domestic data front, a data showed U.S. homebuilder confidence jumped to a six-year high for the month of September. The National Association of Home Builders said the index of homebuilder confidence increased to 40 this month from a reading of 37 in August.
Meanwhile, another report showed U.S. current-account deficit narrowed more than expected in the second quarter. The Current Account index - which measures the difference in value between exported and imported goods, services and interest payments - dropped 12 percent to $117.4 billion from a revised $133.6 billion in the first quarter.
Other closely watched U.S. data to be released over the week include: housing starts and building permits, existing home sales, initial jobless claims, manufacturing PMI, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Manufacturing Index and Conference Board's leading economic indicators index.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: FDX, AMD, BBBY, RIMM, ENR, HNI, ANR, ATU, OCZ
FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) retreated in 3.06 percent after the world's largest parcel-delivery company reduced its 2013 earnings forecast and guided second-quarter below consensus amid weak global economic conditions. The economic bellwether posted lower earnings for the first quarter, citing constrained revenue growth at its FedEx Express segment.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE:AMD) tumbled 9.73 percent after the semiconductor maker said Thomas Seifert has decided to resign as the company's finance chief to pursue other opportunities.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) dropped 3.36 percent after Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. downgraded rating on shares of the home fashion retailer to "Perform" from "Outperform" on concerns that drivers of upside is waning for the company near term.
Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:RIMM) gained 2.28 percent after Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) said it has signed a patent licensing agreement with the company. The deal gives RIM broad access to the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) for certain BlackBerry devices.
Energizer Holdings Inc. (NYSE:ENR) surged 10.75 percent after the maker of batteries and razors said its preliminary assessment has identified the actions needed to support its long-term strategy. Energizer expects to achieve gross annualized pre-tax cost savings of $175 million to $200 million.
HNI Corp. (NYSE:HNI) plunged 15.12 percent after the Muscatine, Iowa-based company lowered its earnings and revenue guidance for the third quarter, citing softer-than-expected demand in its office furniture segment.
Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:ANR) retreated 2.48 percent after the company plans to eliminate about 9 percent of its workforce as part of its move to reshape its portfolio of operations and focus on metallurgical coal business. Abingdon, Virginia-based Alpha said it will reduce annualized coal production and shipments by roughly 16 million tons.
Actuant Corp. (NYSE:ATU) gained 1.89 percent after the maker of hydraulic systems forecast results for the fourth quarter, excluding an impairment charge, to be in the upper half of its prior expectations. The Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based company expects fourth-quarter results to include a non-cash pre-tax asset impairment charge of roughly $60 million.
OCZ Technology Group Inc. (NASDAQ:OCZ) slumped 7.40 percent after the data-storage company said its chief executive Ryan Petersen has resigned. Shebly Seyrafi, an analyst at FBN Securities had wrote in a note that OCZ has been struggling with weaker-than-expected demand over the last few quarters that led to a deterioration in its balance sheet, and now this deterioration is manifesting itself in much weaker-than-expected revenue.
European markets closed in red, with Germany's DAX down 0.76 percent to close at 7,347.69. France's CAC40 fell 1.15 percent to finish at 3,512.69. U.K.'s FTSE 100 lost 0.43 percent to end at 5,868.16.
Asian markets closed in red, tracking global cues, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index down 0.91 percent to finish at 2,059.54. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.39 percent to end at 9,123.77. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped 0.27 percent to close at 20,601.93. India's BSE Sensex closed at 18,496.01, down 0.25 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures retreated 1.16 percent to $95.50 per barrel and natural gas futures declined 3.35 percent to $2.769 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures inched up 0.04 percent to $1,771.3 per ounce and silver futures jumped 1.09 percent to $34.74 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro lost 0.61 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3037. The British pound edged 0.04 percent lower against the greenback to 1.6244, while the dollar rose 0.18 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.8500.