Sep 9, 2008

Technology sector helps US Market to register gains

20 Jun 2008 | 08:11

Technology sector helps US Market to register gains

After a volatile day of trading, US Market ended the day with modest
gains today, Thursday, 19 June, 2008 mainly with the help of technology
stocks. Crude prices slipping down by almost 4% also added to the
positive momentum. But gains were restricted due to weakness in the
financial sector where Citigroup announced that it might go for some
more write downs in the coming quarter. But a reversal in the financial
sector late in the day, also aided in market?s course reversal.

The Dow Jones industrial Average traded in red for the entire first
half today. It then slipped in the green in the post lunch hours, manly
after crude prices slipped. Going into close, the index ended the day
with a gain of 34 points at 12,063. The Nasdaq Composite Index,
finished higher by 32.3 points at 2,462.07. S&P 500 finished higher
by 5 points at 1,342.

The day started on a rather choppy as
disconcerting comments from the financial sector and mixed economic
data have taken the focus away from lower oil prices.

Earlier in
the day, financial giant Citigoup stated it will continue to have
substantial marks on subprime exposure this quarter and a monoline
adjustment could be on par with that of last quarter. The same started
taking a toll on the financial sector.

In terms of economic
data, initial jobless claims for the week ending 14 June totaled
381,000, down 5,000 from the prior week, but above the 375,000 claims
that were expected. Notably, continuing claims through totaled 3.06
million, which is down from the previous tally of 3.14 million.

The Philadelphia Fed Index for June, a regional assessment of
manufacturing activity, came in at -17.1, which was worse than the
reading of -10 that market was expecting. Also, a reading of leading
economic indicators for May climbed 0.1%, matching the prior month's
reading and exceeding the consensus prediction, which called for a flat

In the technology sector, large-cap tech stocks like Microsoft and Intel helped lead the way.

Crude prices acted in a volatile manner throughout the day today.
Crude-oil futures closed with a loss of almost $5 a barrel after China
raised its fuel prices, sparking concerns about a slowdown in demand.
Oil prices climbed earlier on news that a Royal Dutch Shell oil
platform off the coast of Nigeria was shut down after an attack by
local militants but then slipped again but ended considerably lower for
the day.

Crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for July
delivery today closed at $131.93/barrel (lower by $4.75/barrel or 3.5%)
on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices on Nymex climbed as high as
$137.35 earlier on the heels of a shutdown of an oil platform in
Nigeria. Prices are 91% higher than a year ago.

It was
reported today that China, the second-biggest fuel consumer after the
U.S., will increase gasoline and diesel prices by as much as 18%. It
was also reported today that Saudi Arabia plans to increase crude-oil
production by 200,000 barrels a day.

There is not much scheduled Friday, with only one company reporting earnings, no economic reports and no Fed speakers.

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