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US Stocks Jump on China Rate Cut       11/21 11:50

   U.S. stocks rose in midday trading Friday, on pace to extend their record 
highs from a day earlier. News of an interest rate cut in China and the 
possibility that Europe's central bank will do more to stimulate economic 
growth drove the rally. Investors also pored over a mixed bag of corporate 
earnings.

   (AP) -- U.S. stocks rose in midday trading Friday, on pace to extend their 
record highs from a day earlier. News of an interest rate cut in China and the 
possibility that Europe's central bank will do more to stimulate economic 
growth drove the rally. Investors also pored over a mixed bag of corporate 
earnings.

   KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 12 points, or 0.6 
percent, to 2,064 as of 12:03 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial 
average rose 113 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,832. The Nasdaq composite added 
22 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,723. The Dow and S&P 500 are at record highs.

   SECTOR VIEW: Eight of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index rose, with 
materials stocks climbing the most. Design software company Autodesk led the 
gainers, adding $4.33, or 7.4 percent, to $62.77. Utilities and 
telecommunication stocks declined.

   EARNINGS SURPRISES: Investors bid up shares in several companies that 
reported better-than-expected earnings. Software maker Splunk rose $3.72, or 
5.7 percent, to $68.66. Sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sports gained $3.70, or 
8.1 percent, to $49.63.

   EARNINGS MISSES: Shares in Aruba Networks fell 11.6 percent after the 
wireless communications company's outlook fell short of financial analysts' 
expectations. The stock shed $2.52 to $19.28. Retailers The Gap and GameStop 
also reported quarterly financial results that fell short of forecasts. 
GameStop tumbled $5.52, or 12.7 percent, to $38.02. The Gap shed $2.20, or 5.5 
percent, to $37.94.

   GOING, GOING, GONE: Sotheby's added 8.3 percent a day after CEO William 
Ruprecht announced he will step down and that the New York auction house's 
board has started a search for its next chief executive. Shares rose $3.26 to 
$42.49.

   BOARDROOM DEAL: Dow Chemical agreed to add four new members to its board of 
directors after pressure from hedge fund activist Daniel Loeb's Third Point. 
The stock rose $1.46, or 2.8 percent, to $52.94.

   CHINA RATE CUT: China's central bank cut the interest rate on its one-year 
loans to financial institutions by 0.4 percentage point to 5.6 percent. The 
surprise reduction comes in the wake of recent figures showing that the 
country's annual growth rate slowed to a five-year low of 7.3 percent last 
quarter. Many analysts think a key motivation behind the rate cut is the recent 
steep decline in the value of the Japanese yen, which is likely to impact on 
China's exports.

   DRAGHI ALSO MOVES MARKETS: European Central Bank President Mario Draghi also 
caused a stir in markets when he told a conference in Frankfurt, Germany, that 
the bank is willing to "step up the pressure" and increase its efforts to 
stimulate Europe's struggling economy. His comments sent the euro lower and 
stocks higher. If current efforts do not achieve the desired effect, Draghi 
said the ECB could "broaden even more the channels through which we intervene." 
For many in the markets, that's a clear hint that the bank could soon starting 
buying government bonds.

   OVERSEAS MARKETS: In Europe, Germany's DAX jumped 2.6 percent, while the 
CAC-40 in France rose 2.7 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares 
rose 1.1 percent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei index rose 0.3 percent, while Hong 
Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent. Seoul's Kospi added 0.3 percent.

   ENERGY: The price of crude oil fell. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 7 cents to 
$75.78 a barrel in New York.

   BONDS: U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury 
note fell to 2.33 percent from 2.34 percent late Thursday.


(KA)


 
 
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