Thursday, December 13, 2012
U.S. stocks shrugged off mixed economic news as overbought conditions in the short term, and a ho hum reaction to yesterday's Federal Reserve actions conspired to create a selloff. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% and the NASDAQ 0.7%.
- Applications for jobless benefits fell by 29,000 to 343,000 in the week ended Dec. 8. Economists forecast 369,000 claims.
- Retail sales in the U.S. rose 0.3% versus expectations of 0.5%. Cheaper gasoline led to the largest decline in service-station receipts in four years and restrained the value of all purchases.
- The producer price index decreased 0.8%, the most since May reflecting the biggest drop in the cost of energy since March 2009. The median forecast called for a 0.5% decline. The core measure, which excludes volatile food and energy, increased 0.1%.
Oil fell 1% to $85.89, gold dropped 1.2% to $1696.80 and silver sunk 4.2% to $32.36.
British shares fell 0.3%, German shares 0.4%, and French shares 0.1%.
- European Union finance ministers reached a deal on the set-up of the region's new bank supervisor in the early hours of Thursday morning, taking the first significant step toward a banking union before the year-end deadline. The European Central Bank will have a key role in the banking supervision system agreed upon.
Japan gained 1.7%, while China dropped 1.0%. Japan's market hit an eight month high ahead of elections this Sunday.