Sunday, May 17, 2009

US Stocks: Weekly Round Up (May 11-15)

. Sunday, May 17, 2009

By stockOzone team

US stock indices finished with weekly loss as investors remained cautious and preferred to book profits. For the week, Dow was down 305.91 points or 3.57%. S&P retreated 46.35 points or 4.89%, while Nasdaq Composite settled with a weekly loss of 58.86 points or 3.38%.

On the front of economic data, a release by the US Federal Reserve said Friday that industrial production fell by 0.5% in April after revised declines of 1.7% in March. Capacity utilization dropped to 69.1% last month from a revised 69.4 percent in March, the lowest rate since records began in 1967. The Department of Labor on Wednesday said that consumer price index remained unchanged in April. The core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.3% in April. U.S. producer prices rose 0.3% in April while core producer prices climbed 0.1% in the month. Economists expected a rise of 0.2% in PPI, and a 0.1% increase in the core PPI.A release by Department of Labor on Thursday showed number of Americans filing first- time claims for unemployment benefits increased by 32,000 to 637,000 in the week ending May 9. The four-week average of seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims, a less volatile gauge, decreased by 6,000 to 630,500. Continuing claims for the week ending May 2 jumped to a record 6.56 million. A release by Department of Commerce on Wednesday showed US retail sales declined 0.4% in April. Economists expected retail sales to remain unchanged.The Commerce Department said that U.S. trade gap with the rest of the world widened in March for the first time in eight months as exports decreased faster than imports. The trade deficit jumped by 5.5% to $27.6 billion in March from $26.1 billion in February, the report showed. According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings - default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions - jumped 32% to to 342,038 in April from a year earlier.

On Thursday, The Treasury Department agreed to extend billions in bailout funds to six major life insurers as part of the government's financial rescue program.The companies are Allstate (NYSE: ALL), Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP), Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG), Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE: LNC), Principal Financial (NYSE: PFG) and Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU).

On Thursday retail giant Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) reported that first quarter net income totaled $3.02 billion, or 77 cents a share, compared $3.02 billion, or 76 cents a share, in the prior year quarter. Revenue declined 0.6% to $93.47 billion, from $94.04 billion.

Rival Macy's (NYSE: M) said that its first-quarter loss widened to $88 million, or 21cents a share, from $59 million, or 14 cents, in the prior year quarter. Revenue slipped 9.5% to $5.2 billion. Macy’s plunged 83 cents or 6.72% to $11.52.

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) reported that its fiscal first-quarter earnings tumbled 79% to $25 million or $0.11 a share, from $120 million or $0.54 a share in the year ago quarter. Quarterly revenue totaled $3.88 billion, down 6% from $4.13 billion in the prior year quarter.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) said that it swung to a first quarter loss of $27 million, or 31 cents a share, compared to earnings of $62 million, or 69 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue slipped 24% to $612 million. Shares of the company declined $1.15 or 4.22% to $26.10.

Late on Thursday, Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) reported that its first-quarter profit fell to $81 million, or 37 cents a share, from $119 million, or 54 cents a share, in the year earlier quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 31 cents a share. Revenue fell 9.2% to $1.71 billion.

Shares of Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS) fell 71 cents or 1.76% to $41.24 after it announced that first quarter net income fell to $137 million, or 45 cents a share, compared with $153 million, or 49 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 0.4% to $3.64 billion from $3.62 billion.

Late on Wednesday, Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI) said that fiscal second quarter net income fell 32% to $27.3 million, or 19 cents a share, from $40.0 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue remained flat at $1.9 billion. Whole Foods rose 55 cents or 2.75% to $20.55.

Late on Monday, the second largest US automaker Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) said that it plans to sell 300 million shares of its common stock and use some of the proceeds to pay cash into its retiree health-care trust. The company said that it expects to grant underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 45 million shares.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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