10:45 AM New York – Stocks on Wall Street turned lower led by the weakness in tech stocks for the fifth day. Initial claims of jobless benefits declined to the lowest level in seven years. Greece returned to bond market after four years of exile. China’s international trade unexpectedly shrank in March.
Market indexes opened lower and tech stock led the decline ahead of earnings from banks tomorrow.
S&P 500 index declined 0.3% or 5.59 to 1,866.59 and the Nasdaq Composite index dropped 1% or 39.69 to 4,144.59.
Market sentiment was weaker after China reported decline in international trade activity in March.
Exports unexpectedly declined 6.6% and imports fell 11.3% in the month.
Lowest Weekly Jobless Claims in Seven Years
Initial claims of unemployment at the end of last week decreased by 32,000 to 300,000, the lowest since May 2007, according to Labor Department report.
The weekly jobless claims for the week ending in April 5 were the lowest since before the last recession.
European markets were nearly unchanged and Greece returned to international markets to sell bonds for the first time after four-years.
Greece is planning to complete the 3 billion euros of bonds, more than estimated by the government. The 5-year bond has a coupon of 4.95%, lower than initial expected range between 5% and 5.25%.
The emailed statement from Greek government agency suggested the demand for bonds reached 20 billion euros.
The government is planning to go ahead with the offering despite the powerful bomb blast near the central bank. The blast caused some damage but no injuries and the timing and the location of the blast seen as a symbolic protest against the offering.
Stocks in Japan extended weakness for the fifth day in a row after rising for nine days in a row before. Investor sentiment remained weak and the yen advanced against the dollar.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average edged up 0.43 to 14,300.12 and the Topix index fell 0.95 to 1,149.49.
The yen declined to 101.74 against the U.S. dollar.
U.S. Stocks in Review
Banks are scheduled to report earnings from tomorrow. JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo & Co are scheduled to release earnings tomorrow.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (BBBY
) declined 6.5% to $63.47 after the retailer of kitchen goods estimated first-quarter earnings between 92 cents and 96 cents a share, lower than at least $1 a share estimated by analysts.
eBay Inc (EBAY
) declined 1.6% to $55 after the company agreed to a deal with activist investor Carl Icahn and agreed to add one independent director to the board. Icahn also agreed to drop his demand to split the company.