Mar 13, 2008

International Markets on 12th March 2008 - US Market fails to keep up the rally

US Market fails to keep up the rally

US Market started the day in a sweet mode but ultimately ended the day on a sour note today, Wednesday, 12 March, 2008. Sellers took position today after yesterdays strong rally. Dollar hit a new all time low against the euro. Crude oil almost once again crossed the $110 mark. Nine of the major economic sectors finished in negative territory. Financials and Energy posted the largest losses. Industrials were the sole gainer.

The Dow Jones industrial Average ended the day with a loss of 46.5 points at 12,111. The Nasdaq Composite Index, finished lower by 11.9 points at 2,243. S&P 500 finished lower by 11.08 points at 1,308. Eighteen out of thirty Dow stocks ended in the red today led by Microsoft, American Express, Bank of America and AT&T. Caterpillar was a notable Dow winner today.

In the currency market today, pressure on the dollar resumed and sent it to a new low against the euro, after stronger-than-expected economic data overshadowed any lingering influence of the Federal Reserve's liquidity-boosting steps. The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of major currencies, fell 1% to 72.41.

Caterpillar was a standout after the company reaffirmed its 2008 profit guidance and gave a better than expected long term outlook. The stock soared by almost 4%.

General Electric also provided a boost to the industrial sector. GE CEO reportedly said revenue should rise at least 10% in 2008.

Financials led the way lower today, with broad-based weakness in the sector. Notably, yesterdays best performing industry group, thrifts & mortgages was a laggard today.

All Indian ADRs ended in red today. ICICI Bank and Tata Motors were the two topmost losers going down by 5.8% and 3.3% respectively.

Crude prices shot up once again today. Prices rose after the dollar remained under pressure today. Prices rose despite the EIA reporting a surprising increase in weekly crude inventory for week ending on Friday, 7 March, 2008. Crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for April delivery today closed at $109.92/barrel (higher by $1.17/barrel or 1.1%) on the New York Mercantile Exchange. They earlier surged to $110.2 a barrel, the highest since trading began in 1983.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange topped 1.5 billion shares and it was over 951 million on the Nasdaq. There were roughly three declining stocks for every two advancing ones in both markets.

For tomorrow, a number of economic reports are expected. February's Retail Sales data, February's Import and Export Prices report, and the Weekly Jobless Claims figures are all due before the opening bell. January's Business Inventories report is due after market opens.