Thursday, February 21, 2013
U.S. stocks fell for a second session as the S&P fell 0.6% and the NASDAQ 1.0% as poor European purchasing managers index data weakened stocks early in the day and ho hum U.S. economic data pushed it down later.
- The Philadelphia branch of the Federal Reserve reported a surprise decline in its monthly business outlook survey. The reading fell to -12.5 in January from -5.8 in December. Economists were expecting the index to rise to 1.5.
- The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales rose 0.4% in January. But the number of homes for sale dropped to the lowest level in more than 13 years.
- The Consumer Price Index was unchanged month-over-month in January, and up 1.6% from a year ago. Core CPI, which strips the price of food and energy, increased 0.3% month-over-month in January, and 1.9% from a year earlier.
- Jobless claims increased by 20,000 to 362,000 in the week ended Feb. 16, the Labor Department reported.
Crude oil fell 2.5% to $92.84 while gold gained 0.04% to $1578.60 and silver rallied 0.3% to $28.70.
Britain dropped 1.6%, Germany 1.9%, and France 2.3%.
- Markit's preliminary index measuring service and manufacturing activity for the European currency bloc fell to 47.3 in February, below expectations of 48.5. Readings below 50 indicate contraction.
- The manufacturing PMI for Germany rose to 50.1, a 12-month high, while the same reading for France climbed to 43.6, a 2-month high, but fell short of expectations. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Japan fell 1.4% while China sunk 3.0%.
- China's cabinet on Wednesday repeated its pledge to use a number of measures, including home-purchase limits and higher down-payment requirements, to clamp down on real-estate speculation and curb price increases. The cabinet also referred to a possible expansion of a real-estate tax, which is currently being tried in two cities, to additional locations, though it gave no details.