(By Balaseshan) U.S. stocks ended on a mixed note as investors
weighed on economic data, earnings reports and the President Barack
Obama's State of the Union address.
The S&P 500 Index rose 0.06 percent to end at 1,520.33. The Dow
Jones Industrial Average lost 0.26 percent to finish at 13,982.91. The
Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.33 percent to close at 3,196.88.
delivered his State of the Union address Tuesday and proposed spending
on infrastructure and environmental projects. The President presented a
proposal to raise the national minimum wage to $9 an hour and urged a
resolution to the "sequester" or automatic spending cuts that will take
effect in just two weeks.
On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department reported January
retail sales and core retail sales rose 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent,
respectively. Core sales topped economists expectations of a 0.1 percent
rise, while retail sales came in line. Core retail sales measures the
change in the total value of sales at the retail level in the U.S.,
A government data showed that import prices unexpectedly rose 0.6
percent in January after a revised 0.5 percent fall in December, while
economists expected a gain of 0.7 percent. Export prices also added 0.3
percent after a 0.1 percent decline in November.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: GE, CMCSA, CMCSK, CLF, RAX, CTRN, DE, DF, WU
Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) gained 3.57 percent and Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:
CMCSA) added 2.39 percent after GE has agreed to sell its balance 49
percent common equity interest in the NBCUniversal joint venture and
related assets to Comcast for about $18.1 billion.
Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSK) rose 1.78 percent after the company posted a
18 percent increase in quarterly earnings on higher broadcast business
growth and a rise in internet services. The company also lifted its
dividend by 20 percent and plans to repurchase $2.0 billion of its stock
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) plunged 19.67 percent after
the iron ore producer have slipped to a quarterly loss due hefty
charges. In addition, the company slashed its quarterly dividend by 76
Rackspace Hosting Inc. (NYSE: RAX) dropped 20.10 percent after the company posted lower than expected fourth quarter results.
Trends Inc. (NASDAQ: CTRN) fell 10.99 percent after the company expects
to post a loss for the fourth quarter, due to a 1.5 percent decline in
sales. Citi Trends currently expects a loss of about $0.07 per share for
the fourth quarter.
Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) fell 3.43 percent. The company posted a 22
percent jump in quarterly earnings on higher sales of agriculture
machines and equipment operations. Results exceeded Street's
Dean Foods Co. (NYSE: DF) plunged 9.68 percent. The company have
swung to a quarterly profit on strong sales growth at WhiteWave-Alpro
segment and higher commodity costs at Fresh Dairy Direct. Results
exceeded Street's expectations.
Western Union Co. (NYSE: WU) shed 0.98 percent after the global
payment services provider posted a 47 percent drop in quarterly earnings
due to higher costs and expenses as well as a decline in
consumer-to-consumer revenue. However, results exceeded Street's
European markets closed in
green, with Germany's DAX up 0.67 percent to close at 7,711.89. France's
CAC40 added 0.32 percent to finish at 3,698.53. The U.K.'s FTSE 100
gained 0.33 percent to end at 6,359.11.
Asia markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.57
percent to end at $2,432.40. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.16 percent
to close at 23,215.16. Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 1.04 percent to end at
11,251.41. India's Sensex closed at 19,608.08, up 0.24 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan
futures shed 0.51 percent to $97.00 per barrel, while natural gas
futures advanced 2.17 percent to $3.30 per million metric British
thermal units. Gold futures declined 0.53 percent to $1,642.60 per ounce
and silver futures gained 0.95 percent to $30.82 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro shed 0.04 percent against the U.S.
dollar at 1.3448. The British pound lost 0.79 percent against the
greenback to 1.5539, and the dollar fell 0.80 percent against the
Japanese yen to 93.5700.