11:20 AM New York – Stocks in New York traded lower after market sentiment veered towards consolidation and latest earnings failed to spark interest. The dollar edged up and gold gained after central banks in Europe and U.K. held rates. Weekly unemployment claims fell in the last week.
Stocks in New York opened lower and accelerated the decline.
Market index dropped as much as 0.8% as technical indicators indicated market consolidation after a sharp rally that lifted indexes to five-year highs in the last six weeks.
In Europe, markets were generally steady after the European Central Bank left its key lending rate at 0.75% and the Bank of England also left its rate on hold at 0.5%.
India is facing a decade-low growth rate according to the latest data released by the Central Statistics Office in New Delhi.
The gross domestic product is expected to dip to 5% in the year ending in March from 6.2% in the previous year and lowest since 4% rise in the year ending in March 2003.
The country is also facing 7% inflation largely driven by a surge in food prices because of the mismanagement in distribution and storage handled by the government for a decade.
Current account deficit is also expected to jump above $22 billion and Finance Minister Chidambaram is expected to present a budget to parliament at the end of the month that will target fiscal deficit to fall to 5.3% in the next fiscal year.
Weekly Jobless Claims Fall
Weekly jobless claims declined 5,000 in the week ending Saturday to 366,000 from the revised previous week’s claims of 371,000 according to the Labor Department.
The four-week average that adjusts for seasonality and week-to-week swings declined 2,250 to 350,500.
Last week the department also reported the economy added 157,000 net new jobs in January and revised higher the net additions for November and December. Unemployment held at 7.8%.
Stocks in Review
Ann Inc (ANN
) fell after it lowered fiscal 2012 earnings outlook.
Akamai Technologies (AKAM
) plunged 15% to after the Internet infrastructure services provider reported lower than expected fourth quarter earnings and extended its $150 million stock repurchase program.
Apple Inc (APPL
) traded down 0.6% and an activist hedge fund manager David Einhorn urged shareholders to vote against the company’s proposal to eliminate preferred stock.
KKR & Co. L.P. (KKR
) decreased 0.6% to $17.63 after the leveraged buyout firm reported fourth quarter net income increased to $96.7 million or 36 cents a unit compared to $46.1 million or 20 cents a unit. Total fees in the quarter dropped to $228.54 million from $246.9 million a year ago quarter.
) increased 2.3% after the mid-size investment bank reported higher than expected earnings.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR
) plunged 8% after the company reported higher than expected fiscal first quarter earnings but issued lower sales growth outlook in the current quarter.
Limited Brands (LTD
) declined 2.3% after the apparel retailer reported higher than expected same store sales in January and left its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings outlook intact.