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US close: Stocks end mixed following strong GDP data, disappointing jobless claims

30 Jul 15

LONDON (ShareCast) - (ShareCast News) - US stocks recovered from earlier losses and closed mixed on Thursday following the release of a report which showed the economy grew in the second quarter, while weekly jobless claims remained near their lowest level in decades.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.03% to 17,746 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.02% and the Nasdaq rose 0.34%.

Economic activity in the US climbed in the second quarter of the year to a reach an annualised pace of 2.3%, falling short of analysts' expectations for a 2.5% reading.

However, the pace of growth for the first three months of the year was revised up to show a gain of 0.6% instead of the previous estimate which revealed a contraction of 0.2%, according to the Bureau of Economic analysis.

"The new data, and the first quarter revisions in particular, remove a worrying sense of doubt about the health of the economy that will have given cautious policymakers a reason to hold back on hiking interest rates for the first time since rates were effectively cut to zero at the height of the global financial crisis," said Markit's chief economist Chris Williamson.

Meanwhile, over the seven days ending on 25 July initial jobless claims increased by 12,000 to reach 267,000, according to the Department of Labour compared with a forecast of 275,000.

"The smaller-than-expected bounce in initial claims following last week's remarkably low reading supports our view that US labor market momentum remains solid," analysts at Barclays said in a note.

Capital Economics analysts said the data was received with "near despair" explaining the big disappointment was the stagnation in wages.

The Federal Reserve kept interest rates on hold but signalled its intention to start raising interest rates in the summer, depending on economic data.

"Dealers have a short-term mindset, and as soon as they heard nothing to warrant an interest rate hike in the immediate future they jumped on the bandwagon, but it was short lived," said IG's financial analyst David Madden.

"Some traders are looking to September for an interest rate hike, and others think it's too soon, but the Fed has been intentionally cagey and September can't be ruled out."

In company news, Linkedin jumped 8% after close as it reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of 55c, ahed of expectations of 30c.

Social media giant Facebook fell 1.84% after reporting a decline in second quarter earnings.

Whole Foods plunged 11% after posting results that fell short of forecasts late on Wednesday, while phone-maker Nokia jumped 7.53% after delivering better-than-expected results.

Cable-TV provider Time Warner Cable shed 0.74% after reporting a 19% drop in adjusted second quarter profit, which was short of analysts' expectations.

Consumer-goods company Procter & Gamble Co. fell 4% after its fourth-quarter revenue slightly missed consensus, while oral and personal care Colgate-Palmolive lost 7.7% despite delivering results that met forecast.

Oil and gas explorer ConocoPhillips slipped 1.55%, despite saying it remained on track to achieve the higher end of its 2015 production target.

Note 1: Prices and trades are provided by Digital Look Corporate Solutions and are end of day values only.


Market Data

Currency US Dollars
52 Week High $77.35
52 Week Low $59.89
Shares Issued 859.81m
Market Cap $56,111m


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