Wednesday, May 7, 2008

US Market ends modestly lower

US Market ended today, Monday, 05 May, 2008 with modest losses. Crude prices closing a little shy of $120/barrel and Microsoft`s drop of bid for Yahoo were perhaps the main reasons for the negative momentum in the market. Eight of the ten economic sectors retreated with energy and material sector being the sole winners.

The Dow Jones industrial Average ended the day with a loss of 88.6 points at 12,969.4. The Nasdaq Composite Index, finished lower by 12.8 points at 2,464. S&P 500 finished lower by 6.4 points at 1,407.4.

Twenty-six out of thirty Dow components ended in the red today. General Motors, AIG and Bank of America were the main Dow winners. Alcoa was one of the four Dow winners.

Microsoft decided last Friday to not pursue the takeover of Yahoo after its raised offer of $33 per share (up $2) was once again rejected by Yahoo. Microsoft shares closed lower by 2% today while Yahoo shares dropped by a huge 15%.

The Institute of Supply management (ISM) nonmanufacturing index rose to 52% from 49.6% in March. The increase was unexpected. It topped the consensus estimate of 49.1. Since the number is above 50 it reflects the services sector expanded in April, albeit at a slow pace.

Among some merger related news, shares of Sprint Nextel went up following a Wall Street Journal report that indicated Deutsche Telekom is pondering an offer to acquire Sprint.

All Indian ADRs ended in the red today. VSNL and Patni Computers were the main laggards dropping 5% and 4.5% respectively.

Crude prices rose by more than $3 once again today. Price rose due to supply problems once again emerging at Nigeria. The weak dollar also pushed up the crude price today. Crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for June delivery closed at $119.97/barrel (higher by $3.65/barrel or 3.1%) on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In the past two sessions, crude prices have gone up by almost $7.

Nigeria`s rebel group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, attacked a Shell oil flow station in the south of the country last weekend. Shell is a unit of Royal Dutch Shell. In recent months, MEND has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta.

On the currency markets today, the U.S. dollar weakened even after a report from the Institute for Supply Management showed that nonmanufacturing sectors of the U.S. economy expanded during April after three months of contraction. The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of currencies, was down 0.4% to 73.19.

On the New York Stock Exchange, more than 3.3 billion shares changed hands, and declining stocks topped those advancing about 9 to 7. On the Nasdaq, nearly 2.1 billion issues were traded, and declining stocks surpassed those on the rise by 5 to 4.

For tomorrow, there are no major economic reports scheduled for release. DR Horton and Fannie Mae are among a few companies scheduled to report prior to tomorrow`s open.

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