News Column

Stocks May Show A Lack Of Direction As Traders Digest Data - US Commentary

June 12, 2014

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - With traders digesting the latest batch of US economic data, stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a slightly lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 6 points.

After several quiet days on the US economic front, a slew of data was released this morning, potentially leading to choppy trading on Wall Street.

While the Commerce Department recently released a report showing weaker than expected retail sales growth in the month of May, the report also showed a notable upward revision to the pace of sales growth in April.

The report said retail sales rose by 0.3% in May following an upwardly revised 0.5% increase in April. Economist had been expecting sales to climb by about 0.6% in May compared to the 0.1% uptick originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding auto sales, retail sales edged up by 0.1% in May compared to a 0.4% increase in April. Ex-auto sales were originally reported as unchanged in the previous month.

Peter Boockvar, managing director at the Lindsey Group, said, "Bottom line, the May miss relative to expectations was offset by the revision higher in April, thus leaving Q2 GDP estimates the same."

Meanwhile, the Labor Department released a report showing an unexpected increase in initial jobless claims in the week ended June 7th.

The report said initial jobless claims edged up to 317,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level of 313,000.

The modest increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to dip to 310,000 from the 312,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A separate report from the Labor Department said import and export prices both showed modest increases in the month of May.

Not long after the open, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on business inventories in the month of April. Economists expect inventories to match the 0.4% growth seen in the previous month.

After ending Tuesday's trading nearly unchanged, stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading session on Wednesday. Renewed concerns about the outlook for the global economy weighed on the markets.

The major averages climbed off their worst levels late in the day but still closed in the red. The Dow fell 102.04 points or 0.6% to 16,843.88, the Nasdaq edged down 6.06 points or 0.1% to 4,331.93 and the S&P 500 slid 6.90 points or 0.4% to 1,943.89.

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Source: Alliance News

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