12:50 PM New York – Stocks on Wall Street gained and investors pinned hopes on higher holiday sales for retailers. Existing home sales eased in October and first-time home buyers stayed on sidelines for the third month in a row.
Stocks on Wall Street gained and European markets closed mixed and Japan said trade deficit in October doubled from a year ago month.
S&P 500 index increased 0.3% or 4.52 to 1,792.39 and Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.4% to 3,948.26.
Retailers were in focus for the second day on the hopes of better sales this holiday season and Lowe’s, J.C. Penney reported encouraging quarterly results and outlook.
Existing home sales declined 3.2% in October from previous month, National Association of Realtors said today.
Adjusted annual home sales rate eased to 5.12 million units from 5.29 million rate in September and from 5.39 million in August, and slowest since June.
Existing single-family home sales in the month declined 4.1% and condominium sales rose 3.3%.
The median home price, increased in double-digit for the eleventh month in a row, in the month was $199,500 in October, an increase of 12.8% from a year ago.
First time home buyers accounted for only 28% of sales same as in September and in August but down from 32% in September a year ago.
European Markets Ease
In London trading, FTSE 100 index fell 0.1% or 9.91 to 6,688 and in Frankfurt the DAX index lowered 0.04% or 3.33 to 9,190.
In Paris, CAC 40 index slid 0.3% or 10.91 to 4,268.37 and in Zurich the SMI index declined 0.2% to 8,281.21.
Asian Markets Fall
Market indexes in Tokyo fell and the yen flirted near its record low of the year and October trade deficit doubled after a rise in petroleum imports overwhelmed a surge in auto exports.
Indexes in Hong Kong gained 0.2% but in Mumbai declined 1.2% after investors sold bank stocks and foreign investors slowed recent purchases of stocks.
Overseas investors stepped up stock purchase in November to $1.2 billion had supported a recent rise in the index.
Japan’s Trade Deficit Doubled
Japan reported its sixteenth monthly trade deficit in a row as fuel imports led a surge in total imports exceeding exports by $10.9 billion in October.
Total exports in the month rose 18% to 6.1 trillion yen or $61 billion and imports rose 26% from a year ago to 7.2 trillion yen or $7.2 billion.
Japan recorded trade deficit of 1.09 trillion yen or $10.9 billion, sixteenth monthly deficit in a row. Trade deficit nearly doubled from 556.2 billion yen from a year ago month.
Petroleum products imports soared in the month by 67.8% and liquefied natural gas imports soared 39.4%.