Dow 12,530 (+.27%) S&P 1,321 (+.14%)
Up 40 – Down 40 – Up 10 – Down 70? Over the last two days, stocks have managed to be more all over the place than Carmen Sandiego. Following yesterday’s European leaders’ summit that provided few solutions, stocks jumped in the last hour of trading today after Italian Premier Mario Monti commented that Greece will keep the euro and that he could persuade the Germans to accept Euro Bonds (collective debt backed by all 17 nations of the Eurozone) for the good of Europe. Mediocre US jobs data along with ongoing euro uncertainty kept markets down in the morning, but the Dow‘s late rally finished up 34 points.
Weekly Jobless Claims tick down for first time in three weeks, Durable Goods orders up
US econ data has been on a cold streak lately, but today offered a hint of light. The number of people filing for unemployment (a reflection of weekly firings) dropped from 372,000 to 370,000 last week, ending 3 weeks of increases. This improvement was in line with economist expectations and reinforces the sense that the jobs market is slowing improving (370,000 people in line for unemployment is still close to 4-year lows), but not fast enough to fix our unemployment problem soon. Orders for “durable goods” (items that won’t die on you quickly, like that birthday goldfish “Bob” from your girlfriend) decreased in April by 0.2%. Unfortunately most of the orders came from military purchases of tanks, guns and whatever else Stark Industries produces, meaning purchases by consumers and businesses probably dropped. Economists are waiting for signs that businesses are confident in economic growth by buying durable goods, but today’s report left doubts.
Hewlett-Packard earnings up after restructuring, poor NetApp earnings bring down Nasdaq
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) shares were up almost 8% at one point today after reporting revenues that topped forecasts for the 1st quarter. The computer company has faced uncertainty recently as the demand for PCs softens and yesterday afternoon’s announcement is considered a result of CEO Meg Whitman’s aggressive restructuring plan, which includes the elimination of 27,000 jobs over the next few years. NetApp (NTAP), on the other hand, is the major global data storage provider you depend on but probably never heard of. NetApp owns building upon building of windowless, personless buildings that house/cool servers from the world’s computers, and the stock’s 12% fall today after worse-than-expected earnings and 2nd quarter outlook helped pull down the tech-heavy Nasdaq stock index -0.38%.
- 3-day Memorial Day weekend (markets will be closed Monday) – can we go into it without a European debt-copolypse?
- University of Michigan Consumer Confidence poll for all of May - how do regular folks like you and us feel about the economy?
- Facebook (FB) was up again today – how will it finish on its 1 week IPO anniversary?
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