- Dow Jones Industrial Average down 71.52 (-0.54%) to 13,126.21
- S&P 500 down 6.98 (-0.49%) to 1,405.54
- Nasdaq Composite Index down 15.39 (-0.49%) to 3,104.96
- Nikkei 225 down 0.71%
- Hang Seng Index down 0.77%
- China Shanghai Composite Index down 2.65%
- FTSE 100 down 1.03%
U.S. stocks slid for a second consecutive day Wednesday, effectively wiping-out the week's blue-chip gains as investors dumped stocks closely tied to global growth after a disappointing report on durable-goods orders.
Durable goods orders increased 2.2% last month, missing economists' forecasts and only partially reversing January's revised 3.6% decline, Commerce Department data showed on Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had predicted a 3.0% advance. Excluding transportation, orders climbed 1.6%. Machinery orders increased 5.7%. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, often considered a proxy for future business investment, rose 1.2%, also missing analysts' expectations for a 2.0% gain.
Commodity related stocks also fell under pressure today, after a larger-than-expected build in U.S. crude oil inventories added negative sentiment. U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 7.1 million barrels from the previous week to 353.4 million barrels, the Energy Information Agency reported this morning. Analysts in a Bloomberg News survey had been expecting only a 2.6-million-barrel build. Total motor gasoline inventories along with finished gasoline inventories and blending components inventories all decreased last week, the EIA said.
In company news, Tyco International Ltd. (TYC) announced plans to merge its pipe-and-valve business with pump-and-filter maker Pentair Inc. (PNR) in a deal valuing the Tyco unit at about $4.5 billion. Under the all-stock transaction, TYC shareholders would own roughly 52.5% of the combined company and PNR shareholders would own about 47.5%. The combined company will take the Pentair name and will be led by Randall Hogan, Pentair's board chairman and CEO. Shares of both companies are higher today with PNR gaining over 13%.
RELM Wireless (RWC) shares set a new 52-week high after the company won a contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. RELM Wireless will be a supplier under the Tactical Communications contract issued by the Department of Homeland Security.
Gold futures ended sharply lower, with gold for April delivery sliding $27, or 1.6%, to settle at $1,657.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Stock Exchange. The June contract, which has the most open interest, declined $27.20 to end the day at $1,660.50 an ounce. Oil futures slid $1.92 to $105.41 a barrel, on sentiment that the U.S., the U.K. and France will coordinate an emergency released of oil stocks.
(+) RBN, Q2 earnings beat analyst forecasts
(+) GV, Reported Q4 EPS of $1.19 on revenue of $1.74 billion
(-) SNX, Projects Q2 results below Wall Street expectations
(-) TEA, Q4 earnings miss analyst estimates
(-) AMLN, downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray