Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wall Street Slides On Poor Treasury Auction Results, Alcoa Tumbles

. Thursday, May 7, 2009

By stockOzone team

US stocks finished lower on Wednesday as investors remained concerned over poor demand for government debt. Shares also came under pressure due to a steep selloff in financials, technology and telecom stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 102.43 points or 1.20% to finish at 8,409.85. The S&P 500 shed 12.14 points or 1.32% to end at 907.39. The Nasdaq Composite fell 42.86 points or 2.44% to 1,716.24.

An auction of 30-year Treasury bonds drew a tepid response, heightening concerns that poor demand for government debt could hike the cost of capital and harm an already fragile economy.

Shares of financials finished weak.JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) plunged $1.98 or 5.32% to $35.24. Citigroup (NYSE: C) dropped 5 cents or 1.30% to $3.81.American Express (NYSE: AXP) slid $1.17 or 4.31% to $25.97.Wells Fargo & Co.(NYSE: WFC) tumbled $2.08 or 7.75% to $24.76. On the other hand, shares of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) surged $1.85 or 17.07% to $12.69.

Shares of the largest US aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) plunged 65 cents or 6.19% to $9.85.

Equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) slumped $2.08 or 5.20% to $37.92.

Among technology stocks, Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) slipped $1.80 or 4.95% to close at $34.53.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) retreated 35 cents or 2.17% to $15.77.Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) declined 47 cents or 2.37% to $19.32.iPhone maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) subtracted $3.44 or 2.60% to end at $129.06.

Shares of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) lost $1.25 or 4.68% to close at $25.45.

Shares of diversified US firm General Electric (NYSE: GE) finished at $13.96, up 29 cents or 2.12%.

General Motors (NYSE: GM) plummeted 6 cents or 3.61% to $1.60. Early on Thursday, General Motors announced that its first quarter loss widened to $6 billion, or $9.78 a share, from a loss of $3.3 billion, or $5.80 a share in the year earlier period. On an adjusted basis, net loss totaled $9.66 a share compared to a year-ago loss of 67 cents a share. Revenue nearly halved to $22.4 billion from $42.4 billion.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) said Thursday that its April same store sales rose 5% compared to average analyst estimates of 2.9%.Shares of the retail giant added 38 cents or 0.77% to $49.89.

Late on Wednesday, networking giant Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) reported that fiscal third-quarter profit fell to $1.35 billion, or 23 cents a share, from $1.77 billion, or 29 cents a share, in the corresponding quarter a year ago. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 30 cents a share. Revenue declined to $8.16 billion from $9.79 billion. Cisco dropped 66 cents or 3.37% to $18.95.

Shares of Sunoco Inc. (NYSE: SUN) fell $1.13 or 3.63% to $30.01 after it reported that it swung to a first-quarter profit of $12 million, or 10 cents a share, from a loss of $59 million, or 50 cents a share, in the year ago quarter. Revenue decreased to $6.44 billion from $12.81 billion.

On the front of economic data, a release by Department of Labor on Thursday showed number of Americans filing first- time claims for unemployment benefits fell by 34,000 to 601,000 in the week ending May 2. Economists expected jobless claims to rise to 635,000. The four-week average of seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims, a less volatile gauge, decreased by 14,750 to 623,500. Continuing claims for the week ending April 25 jumped 125,250 to a record high of 6.21 million.

Elsewhere, the European Central Bank on Thursday slashed interest rates by a quarter point to a record low of 1%. On the other hand, the Bank of England surprisingly boosted a bond-purchasing program.

European stocks settled mostly lower. The UK FTSE increased 2.19 points or 0.05% to 4,398.68. The German DAX and French CAC slumped 1.57% and 0.97% respectively.

Asian stocks finished solidly higher. The Nikkei 225 jumped 408.33 points or 4.55% to 9,385.70. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong advanced 383.32 points or 2.28% to 17,217.89.

NYMEX crude oil for May delivery climbed 37 cents or 0.7% to settle at $56.71 a barrel.

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

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