Friday, July 16, 2010

US Market Commentary (After Market Close): Stocks drop on weak economic data

Stocks saw selling pressure on the open, and weakness throughout the session as tepid economic data sent investors from riskier assets into safety. The Dow closed down 261 points to finish lower for only the second time in the past eight sessions. Goldman Sachs (GS 146.28, +1.06) and Charles Schwab (SCHW 15.15, +0.60) were the only financials to close the day in positive territory. Shares of Goldman benefited from the firm's $550 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission due to expectations of a larger settlement. Schwab advanced as a result of a better-than-expected earnings report. Other financials were not as lucky. Bank of America (BAC 13.99, -1.40) and Citigroup (C 3.90, -0.26) both beat consensus earnings per share estimates, but failed to top revenues forecasts. Economic bellwether General Electric (GE 14.55, -0.70) suffered a similar fate by beating the consensus' earnings per share estimate, but failed to impress on revenues. Its earnings were lifted by an improvement in its GE Capital segment. Technology giant Google (GOOG 459.73, -34.29) missed analyst expectations on earnings per share, and announced in-line revenues. Shares in Apple (AAPL 249.95, -1.50) spent some time in positive territory following the conference to announce a fix for the new iPhone 4, but finished the day in negative territory. The VIX rose for the fourth consecutive session, reaching 26.49, its highest level since July 7th. Before the opening bell on Monday, look for Delta Airlines (DAL 11.73, -0.28), Haliburton (HAL 27.54, -0.56), and Hasbro (HAS 38.51, -2.58) to release their second quarter earnings. Following Monday's close, IBM (IBM 128.08, -2.64) and Texas Instruments (TXI 28.59, -1.16) release their numbers.

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