Apr 15, 2008

International Markets - US Market registers modest losses

09 Apr 2008 | 09:02

US Market registers modest losses


US Market lingered in the red for the entire day and ultimately ended lower for the day today, Tuesday, 08 April, 2008. The session's pessimistic tone had been present since the start of trading. A number of pessimistic news on different fronts was the main cause for the bearish tone in the market. Seven out of ten sectors ended in the red today led by the financial sector. Energy was the main winner.

Dow was down by as much as 80 points earlier in the day. For the day, The Dow Jones industrial Average ended with a loss of just 36 points at 12,576. The Nasdaq Composite Index, finished lower by 16 points at 2,348. S&P 500 finished lower by 7 points at 1,365.

Weighing on market sentiment since the very morning was the disappointing earnings report from Alcoa, and word that Advanced Micro Devices guided its revenue expectations below the consensus estimate.

Among other negative news in the market, February pending home sales fell 1.9% month-over-month, which was worse than the expected decline of 1%. January pending home sales rose 0.3%. Sales have declined on average 1.7% each month since last year.

Also, The International Monetary Fund said total losses due to the financial market turmoil might grow to $945 billion.

On the other hand, after gaining more than 30% yesterday, Washington Mutual announced it is raising $7 billion and cutting its quarterly dividend. The struggling financial firm expects a first quarter loss.

Crude prices dropped modestly today as the dollar strengthened against its rivals. Prices also fell after traders predicted that U.S. government report will show a decline in the country's fuel demand. Prices earlier rose in the day but then slipped. Crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for May delivery closed at $109.09/barrel (lower by $0.59/barrel or 0.5%) on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude prices are 69% higher on a yearly basis. For the year, crude is up by 14.2% till date.

In the currency market today, the dollar edged higher against major rivals after more downbeat U.S. housing data. The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index, which is considered a leading indicator of existing home sales, was down 21.4% in February from its year-ago level. The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback, gained 0.1% to 72.28.

Tomorrow's economic reports include the weekly crude oil inventory report is due from the Department of Energy. Other than that, Fed Chairman Bernanke offers the opening remarks at a financial literacy conference in Washington, D.C.