4:00 PM New York – U.S. stocks closed lower as weekly jobless claims increased and home sales in August struggled to gain the ground. Apple surpassed PetroChina and only trails Exxon Mobil Corp in market cap. U.S. Treasury yields declined. Gold and silver inched higher.
U.S. stocks slid after weekly jobless claims increased and home sales in August increased. Tech stocks gained in during the day but declined tracking declines of the broader market.
Weekly jobless claims rose 12,000 to 465,000 and home prices fell more than expected in July. Seasonally adjusted annual rate for existing home sales in August increased 7.6% to 4.12 million from 3.84 million units in July, but 19% lower from a year ago of 5.10 million-unit rate in the month.
The August home sales were the second worst on the record maintained by the National Association of Realtors.
The U.S. Treasury raised $706 million on sale of Hartford warrants. Potash Corp sued BHP to prevent hostile takeover bid. Blockbuster reached agreement with bondholders.
Apple Inc gained more than 1% after analyst revised iPad sales estimate. Copart, Inc dropped 8% after the auto junk yard operator reported lower than expected sales. Scholastic Corp gained 5% on stock repurchase plan. SunPower Corp surged 8% on a new order.
The European indexes declined after euro-zone PMI fell to a seven-month low in September. German private sector growth dipped and French business confidence rose in the month. Czech Republic left its key rate unchanged at 0.75%.
The UK indexes fell after mortgage approvals declined and auto production increased in August. The Bank of England Chief Economist Spencer Dale urged for reduction in monetary stimulus. Second GDP of Ireland contracted and current account deficit narrowed.
Markets in Japan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea were closed today.
Indian stocks fell for the second day as most of Asian markets were closed for a holiday. A reading of the wholesale price index was higher in August. ONGC started drilling for shale gas in West Bengal. Monsoon rains in India are 44% above long term average.
Shares in Sydney stayed little changed but in positive territory after trailing for most part of the day. Household savings in the quarter to September falls. Potash Corp seeks injunction in the U.S. against hostile takeover offer from BHP.
Commodities, Currencies and Yields
Dollar edged lower against euro to $1.333 and fell against the Japanese yen to 84.35. One UK pound fetched $1.569.
Crude oil increased $0.27 to $74.98 a barrel for a front month contract, natural gas edged higher 0.05 cent to $4.01 per mBtu and gasoline increased 1.02 cents to 191.16 cents.
Gold increased $2.00 in New York trading to close at $1,294.10 per ounce, silver gained $0.11 to $21.16 per ounce and copper for the front month delivery increased 1.25 cents to $3.58 per pound.
Yields on 10-year U.S. bonds decreased to 2.55% and on 30-year U.S. bonds yields edged down 3.73%.