S&P 500 Index
US stocks dropped on Wednesday as weak national data fuelled fears that upcoming fiscal cliff will drive the country into recession. Moreover, traders were cautious ahead of Chinese leadership change due on Thursday. However, mounting hopes that the Fed will continue its bond-buying programme next year limited losses in the US equities. The S&P Index plunged 1.39% to close at 1,355.49. All sectors slumped. On the upside, Abercrombie & Fitch Company was the top-gainer, rallying 34.45%. The company reported that its fiscal Q3 earnings soared 40% due to stronger margins and sales abroad. At the same time, industrials and financials dragged the US stock index lower. Cooper Industries and Emerson Electric sagged 1.11% and 3.09%, while Bank of America and Comerica shed 3.64% and 1.8%. Meanwhile, Advanced Micro Devices tumbled 7.66%, attaining a 52-week low. On Tuesday, Advanced Micro Devices denied rumours that it is going to sell the company.
Dow Jones Industrial Average Index
US blue chips sank on Wednesday as dismal reports from the domestic economy and mounting concerns over Greek bailout dampened demand for riskier assets. US retail sales and PPI tumbled more-than-expected last month, indicating that economic recovery is under question. The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index plunged 1.45% to close at 12,570.95. Only one Dow company advanced. The only gainer was Cisco Systems, climbing 4.81%. Cisco Systems reported an 18% increase in earnings for the quarter ended on October 27 due to rigorous cost control. Among losers, industrials and basic materials dropped the most. Shares of 3M, Boeing and Caterpillar dropped 1.99%, 2.82% and 2.59%, respectively. Meanwhile, Alcoa and EI du Pont de Nemours shed 2.17% and 1.51%. AT&T slumped 0.5% after Fitch Ratings revised down its outlook on the firm from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’. Home Depot lost 3.01% despite better Moody’s outlook. Moody’s raised its outlook on Home Depot from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’.
Nikkei 225 Index
Japan’s stocks jumped on Thursday after Shinzo Abe, who is likely to win December’s election, urged further stimulus measures. He said that the BoJ should lower the interest rates to zero or even below zero to increase lending. The Nikkei 225 Index soared 1.9% to close at 8,829.72. Nine out of ten sectors within the index advanced. The top-performers were technology and financial sectors. Alps Electric and Canon climbed 7.05% and 4.60%, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group added 3.56%. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group announced a 5.5% year-on-year increase in net profit for its fiscal half ended in September. Toyota Motor jumped 5.07% even despite a recall of 2.77 million vehicles worldwide in wake of water pump and shaft defects. At the same time, Sony sank 8.85% after reports that the firm plans to raise USD1.9 billion via convertible bonds. One third of the amount raised will be invested in Olympus Corp.
Hang Seng Index
Hong Kong equities tumbled on Thursday after China’s Communist Party elected the new leader Xi Jinping. Worries over the US fiscal cliff and uncertainty over the eurozone dragged the Hong Kong share index lower. The Hang Seng Index sagged 1.55% to close at 21,108.93. Only two sectors within the index climbed. The only gainers were utilities and consumer services. Hong Kong and China Gas gained 1.12%, while Esprit Holdings soared 22.03%. Esprit Holdings surged after its former chairman increased his stake in the company to about 6%, fueling speculation that he is likely to revive struggling company. Sending Hong Kong stock index lower, technology sector shed 6.95%. Tencent reported that its strategy to expand into new business weighted on margins and the number of Internet users dropped. Meanwhile, basic materials that led gains on Wednesday were bearish on Thursday. Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) sank 2.11%.
FTSE 100 Index
UK stocks declined on Thursday after the eurozone’s economy fell into double-dip recession. The eurozone’s economy contracted by 0.1% in Q3 after shrinking by 0.2% in the previous quarter. Moreover, UK retail sales slid more-than-expected last month, dropping the most in six months. Concerns over the US fiscal cliff as well as uncertainty over Greek bailout also weighed on UK blue chips. The FTSE 100 Index slumped 0.36% to trade at 5,701.32. Only one sector within the index gained. Telecommunications climbed 0.12%, with Vodafone Group adding 0.28%. At the same time, consumer services and oil and gas firms created heavy pressure on the UK stock index. Carnival dipped 1.57%. BP slumped 0.36% as the company is in ‘advanced discussions’ with the US Department of Justice regarding Deepwater Horizon spill. Centrica lost 0.44% ahead of its year on year earnings growth data due later in the day. Meanwhile, Antofagasta dropped 1.93% despite posting a rise in its operating profits in the first nine months of 2012.
German stocks slumped on Thursday after the eurozone’s GDP contracted in Q3, indicating that the region’s economy fell into recession. However, German preliminary GDP grew by 0.2% versus a forecast of a 0.1% increase. Meanwhile, weakness in the US stocks coupled with looming US fiscal battles added pressure on the German blue chips index. The DAX Index dropped 0.53% and is trading at 7,064.46. Only two in nine sectors included in the index posted mild gains. The top-performer was telecommunications sector, with Deutsche Telekom climbing 0.59%. On the downside, consumer services and basic materials shed 3.03% and 0.96%. Deutsche Lufthansa plunged 3.39%, while BASF and HeidelbergCement slumped 0.86% and 1.43%.
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