US close: S&P 500 registers first gain of 2014 as trade deficit falls

Sharecast

LONDON (ShareCast) - - Trade deficit dropped to four-year low in November
- S&P 500 snaps three-day losing streak
- Healthcare stocks provide a lift

Dow Jones: 0.64%
Nasdaq: 0.96%
S&P 500: 0.61%

An unexpected drop in the US trade deficit spurred Wall Street stocks on Tuesday, sending the S&P 500 into positive territory for the first time in 2014.

The S&P 500 managed to snap three straight days of losses - its longest losing streak to start a year for the index since 2005 - to finish up 0.61% at 1,837.88. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.64% and the Nasdaq jumped 0.96%.

The Commerce Department revealed a 0.9% month-on-month rise in exports to $194.9bn - the highest level in history - and a 1.4% fall in imports to $229.1bn, helping the seasonally-adjusted trade deficit fall by a whopping 13% $34.3bn in November.

This was down from a revised $39.3bn in October. The consensus estimate had been for a wider trade gap of $40bn.

"The trade deficit unexpectedly shrank to a four-year low [...] suggesting that fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth could turn out to be above 3% annualised," said Paul Ashworth, Chief US Economist from Capital Economics.

The economic data schedule has ramped up this week following a quiet start to the year, with a raft of market-moving events due out in the coming days. These include the ADP (Frankfurt: W7L.F - news) employment report and Federal Reserve meeting minutes on Wednesday, policy meetings in the UK and Europe on Thursday, and the all-important official jobs report on Friday.

In other news, it was revealed on Monday that Janet Yellen won US Senate confirmation to be approved as the new Federal Reserve Chair, replacing Ben Bernanke, who leaves his role at the end of the month.

UnitedHealth and healthcare stocks gain

US insurance group UnitedHealth surged after analysts at Deutsche Bank (Xetra: DBK.DE - news) upgraded their rating on the stock from 'hold' to 'buy'. Healthcare products giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - news) also rose after RBC Capital Markets lifted its recommendation from 'sector perform' to 'outperform'.

Meanwhile, healthcare peers Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC - news) and HCA Holdings (NYSE: HCA - news) were in demand after Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS - news) recommended clients to buy hospital stocks on weakness.

Palo Alto advanced after the computer security company announced the first acquisition since its July 2012 initial public offering. It is buying anti-hacking company Morta Security Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

Convergys Corp. jumped after saying it will buy Stream Global Services for $820m.

Netflix (NasdaqGS: NFLX - news) dropped after Morgan Stanley (Berlin: DWD.BE - news) cut its rating on the stock to 'underweight' from 'equal weight'. LinkedIn slumped as Bank of America (TLO: BAC.TI - news) downgraded the shares to 'neutral' from 'buy'.

Aluminium group Alcoa (NYSE: AA - news) , which finished slightly higher, will be in focus this week as it kicks off fourth-quarter earnings season with its results on Thursday night.


S&P 500 - Risers
FLIR Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: FLIR - news) . (FLIR) $31.81 +9.67%
TripAdvisor Inc (NasdaqGS: TRIP - news) . (TRIP) $84.91 +5.64%
Micron Technology Inc (NasdaqGS: MU - news) . (MU) $21.73 +5.13%
Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC) $46.10 +4.89%
Expedia Inc (NasdaqGS: EXPE - news) . (EXPE) $71.45 +3.61%
Newfield Exploration Co (NYSE: NFX - news) (NFX) $24.65 +3.57%
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) $52.83 +3.55%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $85.65 +3.33%
Seagate Technology Plc (STX (KSE: 011810.KS - news) ) $58.80 +3.25%
Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) $51.42 +3.19%

S&P 500 - Fallers
GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME - news) . (GME) $44.14 -8.37%
Netflix Inc. (NFLX) $339.50 -5.58%
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP (Taiwan OTC: 4747.TWO - news) ) $8.19 -5.54%
Best Buy Co. Inc (NYSE: BBY - news) . (BBY) $38.38 -2.61%
Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) $43.83 -2.12%
Monsanto Co. (MON) $113.24 -2.11%
Jabil Circuit Inc (NYSE: JBL - news) . (JBL) $16.62 -1.95%
Nabors Industries Ltd (NYSE: NBR - news) . (NBR) $16.64 -1.83%
Macy's Inc. (M) $52.18 -1.83%
Iron Mountain Inc (NYSE: IRM - news) . (IRM) $28.77 -1.74%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $76.51 +3.06%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $94.29 +2.12%
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) ) $189.71 +1.99%
Boeing Co (NYSE: BA - news) . (BA) $140.51 +1.52%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $101.07 +1.41%
Cisco Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CSCO - news) . (CSCO) $22.31 +1.32%
Verizon Communications Inc (LSE: VZC.L - news) . (VZ) $49.30 +1.25%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $81.42 +0.97%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $125.07 +0.85%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $36.41 +0.77%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
JP Morgan Chase (Other OTC: JFTTL - news) & Co. (JPM) $58.32 -1.15%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $62.33 -1.00%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS (KSE: 078935.KS - news) ) $178.29 -0.60%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $88.40 -0.58%
American Express Co. (AXP) $89.36 -0.38%
AT&T Inc (NYSE: T - news) . (T) $34.95 -0.03%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers
TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) $84.91 +5.64%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $21.73 +5.13%
Expedia Inc. (EXPE) $71.45 +3.61%
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (Xetra: 887856 - news) . (GMCR) $79.69 +3.56%
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) $52.83 +3.55%
Illumina Inc (NasdaqGS: ILMN - news) . (ILMN) $112.51 +3.34%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $85.65 +3.33%
Seagate Technology Plc (STX) $58.80 +3.25%
Equinix Inc (NasdaqGS: EQIX - news) . (EQIX) $179.59 +3.11%
Staples Inc (NasdaqGS: SPLS - news) . (SPLS) $15.80 +3.07%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
Netflix Inc. (NFLX) $339.50 -5.58%
Dish Network Corp (NasdaqGS: DISH - news) . (DISH) $56.93 -1.59%
Garmin Ltd (NasdaqGS: GRMN - news) . (GRMN) $45.68 -1.57%
Citrix Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CTXS - news) . (CTXS) $60.10 -1.48%
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $74.49 -1.34%
Mattel Inc (NasdaqGS: MAT - news) . (MAT) $46.04 -1.24%
Apple Inc (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) . (AAPL) $540.04 -0.72%
Gilead Sciences Inc (NasdaqGS: GILD - news) . (GILD) $72.78 -0.63%
Maxim Integrated Products Inc (NasdaqGS: MXIM - news) . (MXIM) $28.78 -0.62%
Discovery Communications Inc (NasdaqGS: DISCA - news) . Class A (DISCA) $86.94 -0.61%

BC

View Comments (0)