U.S. markets shook off issues in Egypt, Portugal, and Greece to finish with mild gains in a holiday shortened light volume session Wednesday. The S&P 500 gained 0.1% and the NASDAQ 0.3% after morning losses. Economic news was mixed with a better than expected ADP employment report offset by a relatively poor ISM Non Manufacturing report. The ADP report is considered by some a precursor to the data from the government Friday.
- The ADP employment report showed that the U.S. employment rose by 188,000 private-sector jobs in June, while initial jobless claims slipped slightly.
- The Institute for Supply Management said its services index fell to 52.2 last month from 53.7 in May, short of economists' forecasts for a gain to 54. While a reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, June's decline brought growth to its lowest level since February 2010. A slowdown in new orders offered little optimism for the growth outlook. The index tumbled to 50.8 from 56, making for the lowest level since July 2009, just a month after the recession ended.
- The U.S. trade deficit widened in May to $45.03 billion from $40.15 billion in April, which could mean downgrades to second-quarter GDP estimates.
Crude oil continued to rally on the Egypt unrest with a 1.4% gain to $101.00. Gold added 0.7% to $1251.90, and silver 2.0% to $19.70. The 10 year Treasury fell, pushing yields back over 2.5%.
British stocks fell 1.2%, German stocks 1.0%, and French stocks 1.1%. Portugal's PSI 20 index slid 5.3%, after Portuguese Foreign Minister Paulo Portas resigned late Tuesday, a day after Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar quit. Yields on Portugal's 10 year bond spiked as high as 8%.
Japan fell 0.3% and China 0.6%.
For readers in the U.S. have a great Independence Day holiday.