US stock markets lose while European markets gain

US stock markets lose while European markets gain
# 07 August 2009 07:18 (UTC +04:00)
Baku- APA-Economics. Investors made few big moves in the stock market Thursday as they waited for the government’s July employment report.
Stocks fell in late afternoon trading after retailers’ sluggish July sales numbers offset a Labor Department report that suggested layoffs are stabilizing. The government said new claims for unemployment benefits totaled 550,000 last week, down from a revised 588,000 the previous week. Economists had been looking for 580,000 new claims.
The department did have some sobering news: The number of people continuing to claim benefits rose by 69,000 to 6.3 million after dropping for three straight weeks.
In the final hour of trading Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 36.43, or 0.4 percent, to 9,244.54. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 4.87, or 0.5 percent, to 997.85, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 15.36, or 0.8 percent, to 1,977.69.
About three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange where volume came to 1.1 billion shares.
Limited Brands Inc., however, reported a smaller than anticipated 7 percent drop in sales. It shot up more than 13 percent, adding $1.71 to $14.45.
In other trading, the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 6.53, or 1.2 percent, to 559.46.
Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.76 percent from 3.75 percent late Wednesday.
The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.
Light, sweet crude fell 3 cents to settle at $71.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In Europe, stocks rebounded after two days of losses, buoyed by solid corporate earnings reports. Investors also shrugged off the decision by European central banks to leave their benchmark interest rates at low levels. The Bank of England also announced plans to expand its asset purchase program, signaling that the government is still cautious about the economy despite recent signs of improvement.
Britain’s FTSE 100 finished trading up 0.9 percent, Germany’s DAX index rose 0.3 percent, and France’s CAC-40 added 0.6 percent. Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose 1.3 percent.
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