s&p 500 brokers

s&p 500 brokers

November 7th, 2014

U.S. stocks fluctuated, after benchmark indexes closed at all-time highs yesterday, as data showed companies hired fewer workers than forecast in October while the jobless rate dropped to a six-year low.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) rose less than 0.1 percent to 2,031.74 at 11:04 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 7.55 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 17,546.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.4 percent. Trading in S&P 500 companies was 11 percent below the 30-day average for this time of the day.

“It was an OK report, but it doesn’t give any sort of indication that there’s any kind of acceleration in economic activity,” Peter Sorrentino, a Cincinnati-based fund manager at Huntington Asset Advisors Inc., said by phone. His firm oversees $1.8 billion in mutual fund assets. “We’re not hugely disappointed, but we don’t see any sort of positive surprise here at all.”

While employment gains exceeded 200,000 for a ninth straight month in October, the 214,000 increase fell short of the 235,000 forecast by economists. The result followed a 256,000 advance the prior month that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington.

The jobless rate declined to 5.8 percent, even as more people entered the labor force, boosting the share of the population working to the highest in five years. Steadfast hiring signals employers are confident domestic demand will hold up in the face of struggling European and emerging economies.

S&P 500 Futures: Growth Shift

“We’ve seen a shift away from ‘will we grow?’ to one of ‘how fast will we grow?” Jeff Korzenik, the Chicago-based chief investment strategist at Fifth Third Bancorp., said a phone interview. The firm oversees $26 billion. Today’s payrolls report “is moderately disappointing in terms of the pace of growth, but there is no question that this is evidence of continued growth.”

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average extended all-time highs yesterday. The benchmark index is up 0.7 percent this week, heading for a third straight weekly gain, after election results shifted control of the Senate from Democrats to Republicans, and the European Central Bank vowed to increase stimulus efforts if needed.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said central banks must do whatever it takes if governments won’t use the public purse to invigorate economies struggling with low growth and below-target inflation.

“Central banks need to be prepared to employ all available tools, including unconventional policies, to support economic growth and reach their inflation targets,” Yellen said in the text to be delivered today at a Bank of France event in Paris.

S&P 500 Futures: Earnings Season

The benchmark index has rebounded 9.1 percent from a six-month low on Oct. 15 as companies are beating analysts’ earnings estimates at the fastest pace in four years. Of the S&P 500 members that have reported their latest quarterly results, 80 percent topped profit projections, while 60 percent beat sales estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Seven out of the 10 major industries in the S&P 500 advanced today. Energy shares rose the most, adding 1.1 percent as oil prices climbed. Health-care companies dropped 0.6 percent for the biggest losses.

S&P 500 Futures: Sears Rallies

Sears Holdings Corp. soared 32 percent after saying it’s exploring the sale and leaseback of 200 to 300 stores. The selected outlets would be sold to a newly formed real-estate investment trust, the company said today in a statement. The retailer last month announced a rights offering in a bid to raise capital that will give it time to return to profitability.

Zynga Inc. jumped 4.7 percent. The money-losing maker of the FarmVille video game posted third-quarter sales that exceeded analysts’ estimates, buoyed by higher advertising and more play on mobile devices.

King Digital Entertainment Plc rallied 5 percent. While total sales fell 17 percent to $514.4 million from a year earlier, they beat analyst estimates for $491.1 million. Forty-nine percent of third-quarter bookings came from games other than Candy Crush, compared with 41 percent a year earlier.

Transocean Ltd. slid 2.2 percent. The offshore driller said in a statement that it would take a non-cash charge of $1.97 billion on goodwill and a further $788 million on the value of its rigs because of the downturn in the oil industry. The Switzerland-based company also had been due to report earnings today, but said an announcement would be made at a later date.

S&P 500 Futures: Disney Falls

Walt Disney Co. dropped 3.2 percent after saying profit fell at TV networks, its biggest division. The world’s largest entertainment company said profit excluding some items rose to 89 cents a share, beating the 88-cent average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

First Solar Inc. retreated 9.7 percent. Profit slipped in the third quarter as the largest U.S. photovoltaic panel manufacturer seeks to land new orders for power plants to replace the giant desert projects that led to record sales last year.

Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. tumbled 37 percent. The drugmaker said its chief financial officer resigned, and the audit committee will review the way the company characterized wholesale inventory.

- Joseph Ciolli and Lu Wang in New York at Bloomberg.