(BAC) Stock Market News for July 1, 2011 – Market News

The Street ended one of its most volatile quarters, with positive economic reports and a temporary solution to the Greece debt crisis lifting the benchmarks to post their biggest four-day rally since September. The technology sector and energy sector lifted the mood further and investors are now hoping for a robust forthcoming earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) moved up 1.3% to settle at 12,414.34. The Standard & Poor 500 (S&P 500) gained 1.0% to close at 1,320.64. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index surged 1.2% to finish the day at 2,773.52. On the New York Stock Exchange, AMEX and Nasdaq, consolidated volumes were 6.88 billion compared to the year’s daily average of 7.56 billion. For every 11 stocks that climbed higher on the NYSE, 4 stocks declined.

Among the 30 Dow components, only four stocks were on the losing side. Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) lost 1.6% while McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE:TRV) each shed 0.3%. All of the 10 industry groups of the S&P 500 settled in the positive zone. Industrial stocks gained 1.7% and led the gains among the S&P 500 industry groups, followed by information technology which jumped by 1.4%. Coming to individual stocks, Joy Global, Inc. (NASDAQ:JOYG) posted the strongest gains in the S&P 500 after gaining 5.7% and NetApp, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) added 5.6%.

This has not been one of the strongest quarters for the Street with benchmarks remaining volatile throughout. The quarter saw the Dow post gains of 0.8%, but the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq shed 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively. The benchmarks have suffered a six-week losing streak during the quarter, mostly depleted by disappointing economic reports and ensuing euro-zone debt concerns. Nonetheless, the winning streak of the past four days helped the indices restrict their losses. Further, the benchmarks failed to finish in the green for the month, as most of the six-week losing streak was during June. For the month, the Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq lost 1.2%, 1.8% and 2.2%, respectively. However, considering the performance of the benchmarks this year, investor sentiment has been lifted as the Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are up 7.3%, 5.0% and 4.5%, respectively.

After the Greek austerity plan passed the first hurdle in the country’s parliament on Wednesday, the five-year austerity package also won its final approval from Greek lawmakers yesterday. The implementation of the program entails spending cuts, tax hikes and state asset sales. The five-year plan that was finalised by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund last week, was a prerequisite for Greece to receive the next installment of the country’s bailout package.  The move does not guarantee an end to Greece’s turmoil but it would remove the threat of a looming default and the related concern about a dent in the global financial market. Concerns about the global financial markets had dampened the mood since May, which subsequently contributed to losses for the quarter.

On the domestic front, economic reports were positive and investors cheered a drop in initial claims and an unexpected surge in manufacturing activity in the Midwest.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported: “In the week ending June 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 428,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 429,000”. The report also stated that the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9% for the week ending June 18.

Separately, the ISM Chicago gauge, which is a regional indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, rebounded to a reading of 61.1% in June from 56.6% in May. The index is based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries, and the employment environment and a reading above 50 represents expansion of the manufacturing sector, compared to the previous month.

The technology and energy sectors posted healthy gains. Among the gainers for the technology sector were Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and they were up 2.4%, 3.6%, 1.8%, 2.2% and 1.5%, respectively. For the energy sector, Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX), ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Marathon Oil Corporation and Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO) gained 1.5%, 1.6%, 1.4%, 2.0% and 2.5%, respectively.

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CHEVRON CORP (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report

HEWLETT PACKARD (HPQ): Free Stock Analysis Report

INTEL CORP (INTC): Free Stock Analysis Report

JUNIPER NETWRKS (JNPR): Free Stock Analysis Report

JOY GLOBAL INC (JOYG): Free Stock Analysis Report

MCDONALDS CORP (MCD): Free Stock Analysis Report

MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report

NETAPP INC (NTAP): Free Stock Analysis Report

PFIZER INC (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report

TRAVELERS COS (TRV): Free Stock Analysis Report

VALERO ENERGY (VLO): Free Stock Analysis Report

EXXON MOBIL CRP (XOM): Free Stock Analysis Report

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