S&P 500 Index
US stocks moved higher on Wednesday on encouraging data from the US real estate market. Existing home sales soared to two-year high last month while construction of single-family houses attained the fastest pace in more than two years. US equities were also supported by BoJ announcement of additional stimulus measures to boost economy. The S&P 500 Index gained 0.12% to close at 1,461.05. Seven out of ten sectors within the index climbed. The top-performers were consumer services and telecommunications. DeVry, Carnival Corp and Darden Restaurants added 0.26, 0.32% and 0.82%, respectively. Among telecommunications, AT&T, MetroPCS Communications and Sprint Nextel 0.27%, 5.21% and 7.13%, respectively. Autozone jumped 3.35% after announcing a 7.4% increase in profits in Q4. On the downside were oil and gas companies falling 0.94%. with Alpha Natural Resources and Apache Corp slumping 3.17% and 1.59% amid lower crude oil prices.
Dow Jones Industrial Average Index
US blue chips index ended Wednesday’s session on the positive note on encouraging news for Asia and US property market. The Bank of Japan expanded its asset-purchasing program as a part of its easing measures. Meanwhile, US existing home sales approached two-year high in August. The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index inched up 0.10% to close at 13,577.96. Six out of nine business sectors included in the index rose. Basic materials and telecommunications poised the biggest gains. El du Pont de Nemours climbed 0.68% on slightly higher commodity prices while AT&T and Verizon Communications advanced 0.27% and 0.80%. At the same time, oil and gas sector dragged the US blue chips index lower. Chevron and Exxon Mobil dropped 0.32% and 1.18% after the EIA reported much larger-than-expected increase in the US crude oil stockpiles last week.
Nikkei 225 Index
Japanese shares moved sharply lower after previous rally on fresh BoJ stimulus measures. Slight improvement in flesh China’s PMI failed to return confidence about China’s economic state. Adding to the negative mood of the Japan’s equity index, national imports and exports slid more than expected last month, raising global growth concerns. Japanese export tumbled by annualized 5.8% while imports fell annualized 5.4% in August. The Nikkei 225 Index plunged 1.57% to close at 9,086.98. All sectors within the index slumped. On the upside was Nippon Telegraph and Telephone after announcing that it plans to buy back about JPY150 billion worth of the firm’s shares. Oil and gas companies as well as technology firms created heavy selling pressure on the Nikkei index. Inpex and Alps Electric lost 3.52% and 4.03%. Semiconductor-related enterprises also moved lower on speculation that Samsung may reduce its investments in chips in 2013. Tokyo Electron and Advantest shed 2.24% and 4.55%.
Hang Seng Index
Chinese equities plunged on Thursday as boost from Japan’s easing measures appeared to be short-lived. The HSBC China PMI inched up to 47.8 in September from 47.6 in August; however, slightly better data still suggests contraction of the China’s manufacturing activity. Poor performance of Japanese equities also added pressure on Chinese stocks. The Hang Seng Index sank 1.20% to close at 20,590.92. All but one sectors in the index dropped. The only gainer was utility sector, with Power Assets and China Resources Power advancing 1.01% and 0.71%. Airlines also rose slightly on lower oil prices. Cathay Pacific Air gained 0.77%. Sending the China’s blue chips index lower, oil and gas and basic materials slumped. CNOOC and PertoChina slid 3.56% and 1.76% while Aluminum Corp of China moved lower by 0.93%.
FTSE 100 Index
UK shares declined on Thursday on weak data from China. HSBC China PMI edged up in September but remained below 50.0 level that separates contraction from expansion. Raising global growth worries, Japanese trade balance dropped more than expected last month. However, Spain’s borrowing costs slid at the auction of 10-year sovereign bonds, boosting market sentiment. The FTSE 100 Index retreated 0.59% and is trading at 5,829.57. Only three sectors within the index eased up. Telecommunication companies were the strongest, posting a 0.42% gain. Vodafone Group added 0.09%. At the same time, miners and industrials weighted down on the UK stock index. Anglo American dropped 4.62% amid unrest at its South African platinum mine. BHP Billion, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta tumbled 2.38%, 3.27% and 3.11%, respectively. Industrials plunged 1.79% on weak Eurozone members’ manufacturing data releases. Shares of IMI, Rolls-Royce Holdings and BAE Systems declined 1.48%, 0.17%and 0.53%, respectively.
German stocks drop on Thursday despite upbeat data from the national manufacturing sector. Flesh German PMI contracted the least in the last six months in September. German PMI climbed to seasonally adjusted 47.3 this month compared to 44.7 last month. Positive data from US labour market also supported the index. The DAX Index lost 0.43% to trade at 7,350.65. Four in nine business sectors included in the index climbed. The top-performers were consumer services and telecommunications, with Deutsche Telecom advancing 1.48%. Dragging the DAX index lower, consumer goods and utilities tumbled 1.49% and 1.22%. E.ON and RWE slumped 0.60% and 0.77%. Daimler was among the top-losers, declining by 3.30% after announcing that its profits from car division are expected to fall in H2 of 2012.
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