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US close: Stocks gain despite increased likelihood of September taper

30 Aug 13

LONDON (ShareCast) - - Q2 GDP growth revised higher to 2.5 per cent
- US jobless claims dip, beat forecasts
- Syria tensions ease as politicians hesitate

Dow Jones: 0.11%
Nasdaq: 0.75%
S&P 500: 0.20%

An upwardly-revised estimate of second-quarter economic growth in the States helped push stocks higher on Thursday as confidence in the recovery offset the increased likelihood that the Federal Reserve will taper asset purchases in September.

US gross domestic product is now said to have expanded at an annualised rate of 2.5%, well above the preliminary 1.7% estimate and ahead of the 2.2% growth analysts were expecting. Data showed that the US economy expanded at a faster pace thanks to a smaller trade deficit and inventory gains, offsetting federal budget cuts. Government spending fell by 0.9%, half a percentage point more than initially estimated.

Initial jobless claims meanwhile also came in better than forecasts today, falling by 6,000 to 331,000. The consensus forecast was for 332,000. Continuous unemployment claims, which include those claims not filed for the first time, fell by 14,000 to 2.99m.

Capital Economics said that the data "should give Fed officials more confidence that the recovery is gathering steam as the fiscal drag begins to fade."

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Lacker, the President of the Richmond Fed and a well-known critic of quantitative easing, said that the improvements in the labour market mean that a "good case can be made" for scaling back stimulus.


Worries about an imminent Western military intervention in Syria eased slightly on Thursday as politicians continue to mull over whether to strike.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron lost an initial vote to take military action with oppositions deciding against the move until they see firm evidence from UN inspectors of the use of chemical weapons by the Bashar al-Assad regime. There will be a further parliamentary vote next week.

The hesitance by America's main ally complicates things for US President Barack Obama who has assured that the Syrian government will be held accountable for last week's deadly attacks.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the US will not act without allies: ďAs to international effort and collaboration, itís the goal of President Obama and this government that whatever decision is taken, there needs to be an international collaboration and effort."

Verizon looks to buy-out Vodafone in VZW

Verizon gained after restarting talks with UK telecoms partner Vodafone about the possibility of buying out its stake in their US joint venture, Verizon Wireless. It is speculated that Verizon could pay as much as $130bn from the sale of the 45% interest through a mixture of cash and stock, making it the third-largest deal in history. Vodafone's ADS stock jumped strongly on the news.

Fashion retailer Guess surged as a 7.1% decline in second-quarter earnings wasn't as bad as analysts had feared. The group also raised its full-year outlook for profits slightly.

Airline stocks such as US Airways and Delta Air Lines were strong performers as concerns over rising jet fuel costs eased as the price of crude pulled back from a two-year high.

Coca-Cola fell following news gay rights groups protested against the company over its sponsorship of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia, saying the soft drinks giant "supports hate" by staying silent towards Russia's controversial new law on gay propaganda.

Campbell Soup retreated after posting a fourth-quarter loss after weaker-than expected sales, higher costs and a write-down related to its European unit.

S&P 500 - Risers
Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) $41.23 +4.35%
D. R. Horton Inc. (DHI) $18.40 +3.55%
Lennar Corp. Class A (LEN) $32.62 +3.16%
PulteGroup Inc. (PHM) $15.86 +3.12%
AutoNation Inc. (AN) $46.76 +3.06%
Ford Motor Co. (F) $16.50 +3.00%
Masco Corp. (MAS) $19.04 +2.86%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $47.82 +2.71%
Altera Corp. (ALTR) $35.69 +2.59%
Celgene Corp. (CELG) $142.58 +2.50%

S&P 500 - Fallers
Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) $17.22 -3.75%
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) $20.97 -3.10%
Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) $43.33 -3.09%
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP) $12.40 -2.82%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $60.72 -2.79%
CONSOL Energy Inc. (CNX) $31.22 -2.77%
Seagate Technology Plc (STX) $38.09 -2.01%
Noble Corp (NE) $37.62 -1.93%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $87.27 -1.77%
FMC Technologies Inc. (FTI) $53.79 -1.72%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $47.82 +2.71%
Boeing Co. (BA) $104.93 +1.61%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $33.55 +1.61%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $72.44 +1.26%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $77.31 +0.60%
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $100.46 +0.48%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $80.25 +0.45%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $61.08 +0.44%
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) $14.17 +0.35%
American Express Co. (AXP) $72.22 +0.29%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $87.27 -1.77%
Alcoa Inc. (AA) $7.81 -1.51%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $94.86 -1.27%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $120.37 -1.18%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $22.06 -1.01%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $38.10 -0.65%
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) $22.52 -0.40%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $28.10 -0.39%
General Electric Co. (GE) $23.11 -0.39%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $56.66 -0.23%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers
Vodafone Group Plc ADS (VOD) $31.80 +8.13%
Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) $41.23 +4.35%
Liberty Global plc Series A (LBTYA) $78.59 +3.22%
Altera Corp. (ALTR) $35.69 +2.59%
Equinix Inc. (EQIX) $175.86 +2.54%
Celgene Corp. (CELG) $142.58 +2.50%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $13.57 +2.49%
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR) $88.78 +2.45%
Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) $16.75 +2.20%
Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) $214.13 +2.11%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $60.72 -2.79%
Seagate Technology Plc (STX) $38.09 -2.01%
Monster Beverage Corp (MNST) $56.98 -1.18%
Nuance Communications Inc. (NUAN) $18.31 -1.03%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $22.06 -1.01%
Mattel Inc. (MAT) $40.39 -0.81%
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $384.60 -0.73%
Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR) $53.02 -0.54%
Staples Inc. (SPLS) $14.05 -0.50%
Expeditors International Of Washington Inc. (EXPD) $40.45 -0.49%


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Market Data

Currency US Dollars
52 Week High $49.46
52 Week Low $32.83
Shares Issued 323.00m
Market Cap $15,688m


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