Wall Street rallies broadly, Dow again positive for 2014

August 13, 2014

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with the Dow returning to positive territory for the year as signs of easing tensions in Ukraine overshadowed weak readings on consumer spending.

The day’s gains were broad, with all 10 primary S&P 500 sector indexes gaining. About 71 percent of stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange were higher for the day, while more than 60 percent of Nasdaq-listed names rose.

Wall Street has been largely driven by the news flow from abroad, and signs of progress in Ukraine were enough to offset some cautious signals in the United States, including a disappointing reading on July retail sales and a reduction in Macy’s outlook.

With the day’s advance, the S&P 500 is 2.1 percent below its record closing high reached in late July. Throughout 2014, investors have been using market pullbacks as opportunities to add to their positions.

“The market seems comfortable with what’s going on abroad, and while there’s always a risk of escalation, which would give the market pause, trying to anticipate that is pure speculation,” said David Lebovitz, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds in New York.

“Focusing on fundamentals has us viewing any weakness as a buying opportunity.”

Poland’s foreign minister said the threat of Russia invading Ukraine had receded amid reports that a Russian aid convoy would cross the Ukraine border under the aegis of the Red Cross. Still, Ukraine said the convoy would not be allowed to pass.

Russia’s dollar-denominated RTS index rose 1.8 percent. The Market Vectors Russia Exchange-Traded Fund was up 1.9 percent at $24.46.

Online retailer Amazon.com Inc also lifted the market. Amazon’s stock shot up 2.6 percent to $327.49 after the company unveiled a $10 credit-card reader and mobile app for brick-and-mortar businesses, marking its latest step to expand its presence in the physical world.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 89.88 points or 0.54 percent, to 16,650.42. The S&P 500 gained 12.71 points or 0.66 percent, to 1,946.46. The Nasdaq Composite added 38.74 points or 0.88 percent, to 4,427.99.

Retail stocks were among the weakest of the day after Macy’s Inc cut its full-year same-store sales forecast, sending its stock down 5.8 percent to $56.32. Macy’s was the S&P 500′s biggest percentage decliner. In another weak reading on consumer spending, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in July.

Kohl’s Corp shares lost 1.8 percent to $54.90, while Nordstrom Inc declined 1.2 percent to $67.85. Both names are slated to report results on Thursday.

The stocks of both King Digital Entertainment Plc and SeaWorld Entertainment Inc suffered their biggest one-day decline ever after the companies reported weaker-than-expected revenue. King, the maker of the video game “Candy Crush Saga,” plummeted 23 percent to $14.02, while SeaWorld sank 33.6 percent to $18.72.

(Editing by Jan Paschal)

  • Finance
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