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Market Update

Stocks Turn Lower After Market Rally Fizzles, Oil Extends Losses

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 1:49 PM ET March 19 2015

1:50 PM New York – U.S. market indexes suffered as lawmakers exchanged barbs in how to control budget deficit and rising war spending. Seasonally adjusted weekly jobless claims rose 1,000. Preliminary current account deficit in the fourth-quarter widened to $113.5 billion.

Stocks on Wall Street retreated after a broad rally on Wednesday and oil and iron ore prices continued to slide.

Fed in a statement lowered its target rate by the end of the year and also assured markets that the rates are not likely to rise in April and economic growth profile is weakening.

Yesterday, after the Fed’s announcement, stocks surged but profit taking set in after investor’s digested Fed’s view on economic growth.

Seasonally adjusted weekly jobless claims rose 1,000 to 291,000 from the previous week unrevised claims of 290,000, the Department of Labor announced.

The U.S. preliminary current account deficit widened to $113.5 billion in the fourth-quarter from revised $98.9 billion in the third-quarter, the Department of Commerce said.

On Wall Street trading, Tollbooth Strategy Index fell 0.6% or 28.35 to 10,526.54.

S&P 500 index fell 9.95 or 0.5% to 2,089.54 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 8.18 or 0.2% to 4,991.93.

Crude oil dropped $1.50 a barrel to $43.16 and gold climbed $17 to $1,168.30 an ounce.

U.S. Movers

Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) jumped 2.3% or $2.24 to $98.08 after the specialty coffee house chain announced a 2-for-1 stock split, sixth split since the company went public in July 1992. The stock was last split in October 2005.

Starbucks plans to report its fiscal second-quarter financial results on April 23.

Williams-Sonoma, Inc (WSM) dropped 2.1% or $1.61 to $79.35 after the home furnishing retailer reported total revenues in the fourth-quarter ending on February 1 jumped 4.8% to $1.54 billion from a year ago period.

Net income in the quarter climbed 9.5% to $147 million or $1.57 per diluted share compared to $133.8 million or $1.38 from the same quarter last year.

European Markets

In London trading, FTSE 100 index rose 0.1% or 8.58 to 6,953.78 and in Frankfurt the DAX index slipped 0.7% or 78.77 to 11,844.

In Paris, CAC 40 index fell 0.4% or 17.95 to 5,015.47.

Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide gained 0.8% to €56.20 after the Germany-based airport services provider said revenues in the year ending in December rose 0.8% to €2.39 billion from €2.38 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the year jumped 6.2% from a year ago to €234.7 million compared to €221 million and diluted earnings per share climbed to a €2.54 from €2.40.

The airport services provider added Frankfurt airport passenger traffic in the year increased 2.6% to about 60 million passengers and forecasted passenger traffic in fiscal 2015 at Frankfurt airport to grow between 2% and 3%.

Fraport said group revenue for the current year forecasted in the range of €2.55 billion and €2.6 billion and profit of between €265 million and €285 million and EBITDA to range between €820 million and €840 million.

HeidelbergCement AG increased 0.7% to €72.55 after the Germany-based building materials and cement producer reported revenues in the year ending in December jumped 4% to €12.61 billion from €12.13 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the year plunged 26.4% from a year ago to €687 million compared to €933 million and diluted earnings per share increased to €2.59 from €2.40.

Cement sales in the year jumped 5% to 81.85 million tons from a year ago period and ready-mix concrete sales climbed 5%. Sales of Asphalt soared 11%.

The company plans to investment about €1.2 billion to upgrade and expand capacities in 2015, primarily in Indonesia and other location in the Southern hemisphere.

Asian Markets

Japan indexes gained and the yen traded near its low in the year as the U.S. Fed left forecasted low rates to continue in the near future. Mitusi & Co Ltd acquired a minority stake in Penske Truck Leasing Co from General Electric Capital Corp.

Stocks in Tokyo rebounded following Asia-wide surge after the U.S. Fed forecasted low rate regime to continue in the near future and lowered its estimate of federal funds rates to 0.625% from the estimate of 1.125% in December.

The policy makers committee also lowered its assessment of the U.S. economy and said growth has “moderated somewhat” from its January estimate of “solid pace” expansion.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 67.92 or 0.4% to 19,476.56 and the broader Topix index slid 6.65 to 1,575.81.

The yen gained to 120.72 against a dollar.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc