Friday, February 15, 2013
U.S. stocks fell slightly in a very volatile session as an internal email obtained by Bloomberg from Walmart management indicated early February sales were awful, and the fears of the payroll tax hike hitting consumers (at least in the middle to low end) was actually an accurate thesis. With that said, after a sharp wave of selling once that news hit mid afternoon, buyers stepped in once again to take stocks off their lows, and the S&P 500 finished with a loss of 0.1% while the NASDAQ lost 0.2%. Economic data was mixed:
- Consumer sentiment improved to 76.3 in February, marking the best level since November, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's index. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected a reading of 74.8.
- Manufacturing in New York state unexpectedly jumped to 10.0 from -7.8 in February, according to the New York Federal Reserve, gaining for the first time since July. Economists expected a reading of -2.0.
- Industrial production slipped 0.1% in January, dragged by weak manufacturing and mining. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected a gain of 0.2%.
It was a rough day in the commodities space as oil dropped 1.5% to $95.86, silver sunk 1.7% to $29.85, and gold fell 1.6% to $1609.50.
British shares were up fractionally while Germany fell 0.5% and France 0.25%.
A jump in the yen forced the Nikkei down 1.2%.