Markets See Rough Ending For Tough Month

Includes: DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: Midnight Trader
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average down 26.41 (-0.21%) to 12,393.45
  • S&P 500 down 2.99 (-0.23%) to 1,310.33
  • Nasdaq Composite Index down 10.02 (-0.35%) to 2,827.34


  • Hang Seng Index down 0.32%
  • Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.52%
  • FTSE 100 up 0.18%

Equities ended little changed, failing to keep keep the S&P 500 from finishing with nearly a 6.5% decline during May - its worst monthly performance since last September. Stocks bounced higher this afternoon after a new poll of Greek voters found growing support for a party favoring austerity measures, making it more likely the debt-troubled country will remain in the euro common currency. Most sectors in the S&P 500 finished with small advances, although financial issues rallied strongly following the Greek polling results. Energy stocks were a notable exception, finishing lower as crude oil continued its fall as the U.S. dollar continues rising against other currencies.

Stocks started lower today after the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew more slowly in Q1 than previously estimated, with gross domestic product climbing at a 1.9% annual rate, down from a 2.2% in the prior estimate. The report also showed corporate profits rose at the slowest pace in more than three years and smaller wage gains at the end of 2011.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago found factory activity in the Midwest cooled this month. The group said its business barometer fell to 52.7, the lowest since September 2009, from 56.2 in April. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the regional economy.

On the labor front, initial claims for state jobless benefits rose 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 383,000, a Labor Department report showed. Claims have now risen in seven of the last eight weeks, boosting concerns tomorrow's payroll report will show a slowdown in hiring. Private employers, meanwhile, created 133,000 jobs in May, payrolls processor ADP said. That was only a slight step up from April's 113,000 increase and below economists' expectations for a gain of 148,000.

In company news, Endeavour International Corp (NYSE:END) finished with nearly a 73% advance after significantly increasing its stake in the Alba Field, buying a 23.43% working interest in the central North Sea oil field from ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP). Financial terms of the transaction were not immediately disclosed. Combined with its stake, END now owns 25.68% of the Alba field.

Also, Talbots Inc. (NYSE:TLB) nearly doubled today, rising 90% after the retailer agreed to be purchased for $2.75 a share in cash by New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners. The price values the store chain at about $369 million, including debt.

Commodities finished mostly lower on dollar strength. Crude oil for July delivery closed $1.33 lower at $86.51 a barrel with July natural gas adding a penny to settle at $2.43 per 1 million British thermal units. August gold fell $1.40 to finish at $1564.50 per ounce, July silver fell 19 cents to to $27.80 an ounce while July copper fell 2 cents to $3.37.


(+) MVIS, Receives $4 million in purchase orders from Pioneer Corp.

(+) CIEN, Posts surprise $0.04 a share profit.

(+) CFK, Acquired by National Oil Varco for $12.375 a share.

(+) FRX, Carl Icahn launches new proxy fight.


(-) AONE, Warns needs new funding to continue as a going concern.

(-) LGF, Reports $0.17 a share Q4 net loss as acquisition costs swamp big rise in revenues.

(-) NFLX, Merrill Lynch warns of possible revenue slowdown in new research notes.

(-) CHTP, Phase II trial find little improvement with prospective arthritis drug.