Stocks slump on weak euro

Stocks slump on weak euro
# 17 May 2010 19:02 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. U.S. stocks slumped Monday for a third straight session, with all three indexes shedding about 1%, as investors mulled the impact of Europe’s financial troubles on the strength of a global recovery and the euro hit a four-year low, APA reports quoting “CNN Money”.
The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 124 points, or 1.2%, with just over two hours left in the session. The S&P 500 (SPX) fell 14 points, or 1.2%, and the Nasdaq composite (COMP) shed 26 points, or 1.1%.
Energy stocks led the decline, with Massey Energy Co (MEE). down nearly 11% and First Solar (FSLR) 8.3% lower. Peabody Energy (BTU, Fortune 500) and Consol Energy (CNX, Fortune 500) each lost more than 6%.
As lingering debt concerns continued to trouble investors, the euro sank to four-year lows earlier on Monday, falling below $1.23. The currency recovered some losses but remained under pressure.
U.S. stocks tumbled Friday, as the Dow lost 1.5%, and S&P 500 and Nasdaq slipped about 2% on a weak euro.
Investors remained concerned about soaring deficits throughout Europe despite the $1 trillion aid package for Greece and other debt-ridden nations that had triggered a rally in stocks early last week. Despite Friday’s decline, the three major indexes ended higher for the week.
"Investors are trying to figure out how appropriately a slowdown in the euro zone is priced in," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Jefferies & Co. "The biggest concern is what’s going to happen with the currencies, but I think there’s been an effective job of pricing that in and now investors will decouple from European problems and focus on the U.S. fundementals."
Hogan expects stocks to move into positive territory as investors digest strong corporate earnings and a steady stream of economic data, which has been overshadowed by Europe’s sovereign debt problems.
But despite upbeat U.S. economic reports, Clark Capital Management Group’s chief executive Harry Clark said stocks will continue to rise and fall through the summer as Europe manages its fiscal crisis. He expects U.S. markets to begin trending upward in the fall.
Economy: A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that manufacturing growth slowed in the region in May. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey’s index fell to 19.1 from 31.9 in April. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected the index to slip modestly to 30.
The Treasury said China boosted its holdings of U.S. debt in March for the first time in six months, increasing them by 2% to $895.2 billion. With mounting concerns over European debt and a strengthening U.S. economy, overall foreign holdings of Treasury securities rose by 3.5% to $3.88 trillion.
Companies: General Motors posted its first quarterly profit in nearly three years, earning $865 million on revenue of $31.5 billion. After emerging from bankruptcy last July, the company has trimmed costs and increased sales thanks to an improving economy and recall troubles at rival Toyota.
Hope improvement retailer Lowe’s (LOW, Fortune 500) posted a profit that rose 2.7% from a year earlier and topped expectations as demand for big-ticket items improved. But the company’s forecast for the second quarter came in lower than expectations, and shares of the retailer were down about 4%.
World markets: European stocks finished mixed, with France’s CAC 40 down 0.5%, Germany’s DAX 0.2% higher and Britain’s FTSE 100 lower less than 0.1%.
Asian markets finished the session lower. The decline was led by China, where the Shanghai Composite sank 5.1%. Japan’s Nikkei ended 2.2% lower and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2.1%.
Dollar and commodities: : The dollar gained 0.1% against the euro and 0.7% on the British pound. But the greenback slipped 0.2% versus the Japanese yen.
U.S. light crude oil for June delivery slid $1.30, or 1.8% to $70.31 a barrel.
Gold prices continued to rise, gaining 70 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,228.50 per ounce.
Bonds: Treasury prices were higher Monday. The price of benchmark 10-year note edged up, and its yield lowered to 3.42%. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Market breadth was negative. On the New York Stock Exchange, losers topped winners five to one on volume of 800 million shares. On the Nasdaq, decliners beat advancers three to one on volume of 1.5 billion shares.
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