Friday, December 14, 2012
U.S. stocks fell Friday as most people's attention was on the tragedy in Connecticut. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% and the NASDAQ 0.7%. Apple (AAPL) had another miserable session, falling 3.8% and taking the NASDAQ with it. For the week the S&P 500 fell 0.3% and the NASDAQ 0.2%. The main news of the day was a huge surge in the Chinese stock market as a preliminary purchasing managers' index rose to a 14 month high.
The "official" inflation rate dropped for the first time in 6 months:
- The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index dropped 0.3% last month as a sharp decline in gasoline prices offset increases in other areas. It was also the largest drop since May and followed a 0.1% gain in October. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, edged up 0.1% after rising 0.2% in October. Food prices gained 0.2%. Gasoline prices tumbled 7.4%, the largest drop since December 2008.
- The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production jumped 1.1% in November, although economists said the larger-than-expected increase was due to Hurricane Sandy.
Oil gained 1.0% to $86.73, gold was up fractionally to $1697.00, and silver dropped 0.2% to $32.30.
British shares fell 0.1%, German shares dropped 0.2%, while French shares were fractionally higher.
- A survey of purchasing managers in the euro area edged up to 47.3 in November from 46.5 in October.
China gained 4.3% while Japan fell 0.05%.
- The HSBC flash purchasing managers' index for December rose to 50.9, a 14-month high and the fifth straight monthly gain. A figure above 50 indicates that growth is accelerating, while one below 50 shows slowing growth.
- Most sub-indexes improved with the exception of output and new export orders, which dipped, possibly reflecting softer end-of-year orders. Encouragingly, a sub-index on new orders rose for the fifth month in a row to 52.7, its highest level since April 2011. A sub-index tracking employment rose to its highest level since February.