Connect to share and comment

US stocks lower ahead of holiday weekend

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US stocks moved lower in early trade Friday on weak US spending and income data ahead of a big US holiday weekend.

About an hour into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 29.35 (0.20 percent) to 14,811.6008.39.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 2.72 (0.17 percent) at 1,635.4572, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 18.40 (0.51 percent) to 3,601.90.

The Commerce Department Friday said US consumer spending in July rose by only 0.1 percent, while personal income also ticked up 0.1 percent. The spending figure came in well below the 0.3 percent analyst estimate.

Patrick O'Hare, analyst at Briefing.com, said markets could be quiet ahead of the Labor Day weekend in the US, which will close markets on Monday.

"Any business that has to be transacted will probably take place early when there is a better chance of having more liquidity," O'Hare said. "Barring some headline shock, things seem bound to slow down as the day progresses and the holiday weekend beckons."

Dow component General Electric rose 0.7 percent after The Wall Street Journal reported the company is planning to spin off its retail lending division, which made $2.2 billion in profits last year.

Independent oil and gas company Apache jumped 7.7 percent after announcing a deal with China's Sinopec to receive $3.1 billion in cash in exchange for granting Sinopec a 33 percent stake in a joint-venture to develop Apache's Egypt oil and gas business.

The deal reduces Apache's exposure to Egypt during a time of political upheaval in the North African country.

Cloud computing company Salesforce.com surged 12.9 percent after earnings came in at 9 cents per share, two cents above estimates. The company also reported better-than-expected revenues and raised its full-year profit forecast.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond rose to 2.77 percent from 2.75 percent late Thursday, while the 30-year held unchanged at 3.70 percent. Prices and yields move inversely.

jmb/vs

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130830/us-stocks-lower-ahead-holiday-weekend-0