US close: Stocks end the month on down note

Sharecast

LONDON (ShareCast) - The main Wall Street benchmarks finished with slight falls on the last day of the month, albeit with their best monthly register in three years. That may have been a result of investors - those in the retail segment in particular - reacting to a perceived higher probability that the Fed might initiate the tapering of its quantitative easing meaasures sooner than was expected.

That came despite a surge in the the Chicago NAPM´s purchasing managers´ index for the month of October, to 65.9, which handily beat estimates for a reading of 54.5. Some market commentary was also referencing the approaching mid-December deadline on Capitol Hill for Congressmen to thrash out a medium-term proposal on fixing the country´s finances.

Initial jobless claims for the week ended October 25th declined to 340,000 compared to 350,000 a week earlier, according to the Labour Department. However, it missed the consensus forecast for 338,000 claims by a tad.

"While claims data have been noisy for the past two months, we expect that they will resume their gradual downward trend in the coming weeks," Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) explained to clients in a report.

A separate report showed consumer confidence in the world's biggest economy fell for a fifth straight week. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined in the period ended October 27th to minus 37.6, the weakest reading since October 2012, from minus 36.1.

The data followed the Federal Open Market Committee's announcement on Wednesday night to maintain its monthly $85bn bond buying programme.

While many economists continue to expect that a reduction to quantitative easing will be held off until March 2014 some interpreted the Fed's statement as a suggestion that this could come sooner, perhaps even in December.

"The statement wasn't actually overly different from the one released in September," said Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari UK.

"However, investors were clearly not overly impressed with it, with many now concerned that the Fed will 'taper' in December, rather than the first quarter of next year, which many had started to believe."

Starbucks (Berlin: SRB.BE - news) , Exxon Mobil Corp.

Starbucks declined after the coffee shop chain reported slower sales growth in Asia.

Oil bigwig Exxon Mobil (TLO: XOM-U.TI - news) rallied after saying that its third quarter earnings totalled $7.87bn, or $1.79 a share, compared to $9.57bn, or $2.09 a share, in the same period a year ago, on revenue of $112.4bn (2012 Q3: $115.14bn).

Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) , which last night reported 25 cents-a-share earnings for the third quarter, fell after Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman said the company will limit news-feed ads and younger teens aren't using its website as much as they used to.

Expedia (NasdaqGS: EXPE - news) extended last night's gains a announcing an 8% increase in its adjusted earnings per share to $1.43, beating expectations.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.16% to $96.52 per barrel on the NYMEX.

The 10-year US government yield was up 1 basis point to 2.56%.

S&P 500 - Risers
Expedia Inc. (EXPE) $58.97 +18.02%
Harman International Industries Inc. (HAR) $81.02 +12.50%
Microchip Technology Inc (NasdaqGS: MCHP - news) . (MCHP) $42.96 +7.53%
Cardinal Health Inc (NYSE: CAH - news) . (CAH) $58.66 +5.35%
Discovery Communications Inc (NasdaqGS: DISCA - news) . Class A (DISCA) $88.86 +5.34%
Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE: THC - news) . (THC) $47.19 +5.10%
Owens-Illinois Inc. (OI (NYSE: OIBR - news) ) $31.79 +3.99%
CIGNA Corp (Dusseldorf: CGN.DU - news) . (CI) $76.98 +3.14%
TripAdvisor Inc (NasdaqGS: TRIP - news) . (TRIP) $82.71 +3.11%
Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE: TWC - news) . (TWC) $120.15 +2.80%

S&P 500 - Fallers
Avon Products Inc (NYSE: AVP - news) . (AVP (Other OTC: AVPI - news) ) $17.50 -21.87%
JDS Uniphase Corp. (JDSU) $13.09 -11.25%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $69.63 -4.89%
Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC (SES: E2:C06.SI - news) ) $49.26 -4.53%
Visa Inc (NYSE: V - news) . (V) $196.67 -3.51%
MetLife Inc (NYSE: MET - news) . (MET) $47.31 -3.45%
Williams Companies Inc (NYSE: WMB - news) . (WMB) $35.71 -3.36%
Garmin Ltd (NasdaqGS: GRMN - news) . (GRMN) $46.75 -3.15%
Teradata Corp. (TDC (Other OTC: TDCAF - news) ) $44.07 -3.08%
International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT - news) (IGT) $18.80 -2.99%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $89.62 +0.91%
3M Co. (MMM) $125.85 +0.85%
Boeing Co (NYSE: BA - news) . (BA) $130.50 +0.63%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $96.52 +0.51%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $61.20 +0.29%
United Technologies Corp (NYSE: UTX - news) . (UTX) $106.25 +0.28%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $68.59 +0.18%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $77.89 +0.01%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Visa Inc. (V) $196.67 -3.51%
JP Morgan Chase (Other OTC: JFTTL - news) & Co. (JPM) $51.54 -2.02%
American Express Co. (AXP) $81.80 -1.56%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $80.75 -0.94%
General Electric Co. (GE) $26.14 -0.87%
Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE - news) . (PFE) $30.68 -0.79%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS (KSE: 078935.KS - news) ) $160.86 -0.73%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $86.30 -0.69%
Cisco Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CSCO - news) . (CSCO) $22.56 -0.64%
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) ) $179.21 -0.52%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers
Expedia Inc. (EXPE) $58.97 +18.02%
Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP) $42.96 +7.53%
Discovery Communications Inc. Class A (DISCA) $88.86 +5.34%
Staples Inc (NasdaqGS: SPLS - news) . (SPLS) $16.13 +2.44%
Facebook Inc. (FB) $50.21 +2.44%
Micron Technology Inc (NasdaqGS: MU - news) . (MU) $17.68 +1.67%
Linear Technology Corp. (LLTC) $41.15 +1.49%
Vodafone Group Plc ADS (VOD) $36.85 +1.47%
Netflix Inc (NasdaqGS: NFLX - news) . (NFLX) $322.48 +1.36%
Avago Technologies Ltd. (AVGO) $45.43 +1.29%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
Catamaran Corp (CTRX) $46.97 -5.53%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $69.63 -4.89%
Randgold Resources Ltd. Ads (GOLD) $73.90 -4.14%
Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) $46.75 -3.15%
Broadcom Corp (NasdaqGS: BRCM - news) . (BRCM) $26.72 -2.69%
Baidu Inc (Xetra: B1C.DE - news) . (BIDU) $160.80 -2.51%
F5 Networks Inc (NasdaqGS: FFIV - news) . (FFIV) $81.54 -2.34%
Expeditors International Of Washington Inc (NasdaqGS: EXPD - news) . (EXPD) $45.29 -2.26%
Nuance Communications Inc (NasdaqGS: NUAN - news) . (NUAN) $15.56 -2.14%
Gilead Sciences Inc (NasdaqGS: GILD - news) . (GILD) $71.18 -2.06%

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