S&P 500 Index
US equities were mostly higher on Wednesday amid mixed US data. US CPI remained unchanged while industrial output increased slightly more than expected last month. At the same time, traders were weighting all recent US data on whether the Fed will embark on stimulus measures. The S&P 500 Index climbed by 0.11% to trade at 1,405.53. Eight out of then sectors within the index rose. The biggest gains posted consumer services and financials. Among financials, BB&T, M&T Bank and US Bancorp advanced by 1.05%, 0.53% and 0.45%, respectively. Meanwhile, Target added 1.77% after reporting better than expected earnings and raising full-year profit outlook. At the same time, utilities and telecommunications dragged the index lower. Ameren Corp, CMS Energy and NRG Energy slid 0.89%, 0.93% and 0.19%, respectively. Among telecommunications, AT&T as well as CenturyLink dropped by 0.40% and 1.05%. Staples was the top-loser as the company’s income tumbled by 32% amid weak sales in North America and Europe.
Dow Jones Industrial Average Index
US blue chips stock index posted mild loss on Wednesday on mixed signals from the US economy. US industrial production was slightly above expectations in July while New York region’s manufacturing activity deteriorated much more than forecast in August. The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index lost 0.06% to close at 13,164.78. Only four in nine industries included in the index managed to climb. Financials and basic materials producers were the strongest sectors. Bank of America and American Express jumped 1.16% and 1.03% while Alcoa and El du Pont de Nemours gained 0.46% and 0.28% after upbeat industrial production data. Meanwhile, oil and gas and health care companies weighted down on the US stock index. Chevron and Exxon Mobile tumbled by 0.66% and 0.23% despite higher energy prices amid falling US crude oil stockpiles. Shares of Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co declined by 0.42% and 0.79%.
Nikkei 225 Index
Japan’s equities rallied on Thursday after Wen Jiabao, China’s PM, announced than easing inflationary pressure in China will allow the government to fine-tune its monetary policy further. Moreover, slowing CPI growth in the US also spurred speculation that the Fed may implement more stimulus measures. Nikkei surged 1.88%, approaching a six-week high of 9,092.76. Nine out of ten industries included in the index soared. The largest gainers were technology and industrial shares. Canon, Toshiba and Fujitsu surged 2.75%, 3.47% and 3.24%, respectively. FANUC also followed bullish trend, advancing by 4.29% on weaker Yen. Meanwhile, Dai-Ichi Life Insurance was the top-gainer after Moody’s Investors Service announced that the company’s investment in Janus Capital Group was positive. At the same time, financials were mixed, with Bank of Yokohama jumping by 0.80% and Aozora Bank slumping 3.32%.
Hang Seng Index
Hong Kong equities fell after news that China’s FDI declined by annualized 8.7%, attaining two-year low in July. Downside risks and slower inflation created a room for monetary stimulus, according to Wen Jiabao, China’s PM. Hints regarding monetary stimulus eased pressure on the China’s stocks. The Hang Seng Index slumped by 0.45% to trade at 19,962.95. Only two in ten industries posted gains. The top-performer was technology, rallying by 6.35%. Tencet Holdings surged 6.30%, attaining three-month high after the company announced that its Q2 profits soared 32%. On the downside were telecommunication shares, with China Mobile and China Unicom Hong Kong sliding 0.65% and 5.03%. China Mobile posted a 0.9% decline in EBITDA amid tough competition in the industry. Financial stocks were mixed, with Bank of China declining by 1% and Hang Seng Bank climbing 0.54%.
FTSE 100 Index
UK stocks extended slump on Thursday ahead of the key US data release due later in the day. Meanwhile, easing expectations weakened amid optimistic US industrial production data released on Wednesday. At the same time, an unexpected increase in the UK retail sales in July provided slight support for the stock index. The FTSE 100 Index sank 0.11% to trade at 5,823.56 at GMT 12:00. Only three in ten sectors advanced. On the upside were basic materials and utilities. Rio Tinto, BHP Billion and Xstrata surged 0.87%, 1.32% and 0.10%, respectively. In the financial sector stocks were mixed, Standard Chartered declined by 0.67% while Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group added 0.76% and 2.46%. On the downside were technology and telecommunication stocks; Sage Group and BT Group tumbled by 1.66% and 0.55%. Admiral Group was the top-loser after reporting that its SilverBug merged with three company’s divisions: Admiral IT, Admiral Network Infrastructure and Admiral Education Solutions.
German shares rose slightly on Thursday on positive news from the US and UK. Speculation that China is preparing to ease its prudent monetary policy also boosted German shares. However, fading hopes for QE3 in the US capped the upswing of the equities. The DAX Index added 0.15% to trade at 6,952.63 at GMT 12:00. Seven out of nine sectors included in the index edged up. Consumer services and utilities were the major gainers. Metro advanced by 1.51% while E.ON and RWE rose by 0.92% and 0.14%. Financials were mixed. Commerzbank jumped by 1.44% while Deutsche Boerse retreated by 0.22%. At the same time, technology companies created heavy pressure on the German blue chips index. Shares of the German largest software firm, SAP, declined by 0.65%.
Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) or (SPX) - U.S. stock market index consisting of the 500 large-cap shares widely traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ.
Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (INDU) - U.S. stock market index consisting of the 30 large publicly owned U.S. companies , primarily industrials
Hang Seng Index (HI) - Hong Kong’s stock market index consisting of 48 largest companies listed on the Hong Kong Exchange
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average (Nikkei 225 Index) or (NKY) - Japanese stock market index consisting of the 225 largest companies listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange
FTSE 100 Index (UKX) - U.K. stock market index consisting of the 100 most capitalized U.K. companies trading on the London Stock Exchange
DAX Index (DAX) - German stock market index consisting of the 30 largest and most liquid German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
SMA (20) - Simple Moving Average of 20 periods;
SMA (60) - Simple Moving Average of 60 periods.
Correlation - a statistical measure of the linear relationship of two random variables. It is defined as the covariance divided by the standard deviation of two variables.
Industry performance - daily performance of industries within the particular stock market index
Top performers - companies within the particular stock market index that showed best or worst daily performance
Performance - relative historical change of stock market index value