Mar 1, 2009

Wall Street back in the red

26 Feb 2009 | 08:09 Wall Street back in the red

Stocks at Wall Street ended with modest losses on Wednesday, 25 February. The losses came after a day of huge gains on Wall Street yesterday. Though the financial sector gave a strong start to the day today, weakness in the same led the indices end in the red at the end. Top of it came an optimistic speech from President Barack Obama who said that US will definitely come out stronger from this recession. That, somewhat lent some support to the stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended lower by 80 points at 7,270, the Nasdaq closed lower by 16 points at 1,425 and the S&P 500 closed lower by 8 points at 765.

Nine of the ten sectors ended in the red today led by industrials and telecom sectors. Telecom was the sole gainer.

Yesterday night, President Barack Obama delivered an optimistic speech before a joint session of Congress, saying that the U.S. will emerge from the recession stronger than before. In a lengthy speech, Obama rolled out more of his economic agenda, promising job creation, a doubling of renewable-energy production, health-care reform and a bolstering of education.

The financial sector lent good support to the market today at the start after Ben Bernanke said that there are no plans to nationalize Citibank. But with the day, the strength in the sector fizzled away.

Among the only economic data scheduled for the day, National Association of Realtors reported existing-home sales in January fell 5.3%, a faster pace than forecast, while prices fell to near six-year lows. Sales fell more than expected to their lowest level since 1997. Many of the sales were distressed, contributing to a near 15% y-o-y drop in the median home price. Inventory supply increased slightly to 9.6 months.

Federal regulators begin stress testing banks today. The tests will help determine whether banks have sufficient capital to withstand shocks to the economy. The tests will help determine how much capital banks need, not whether they should be taken into government hands.

Oil prices shot up on Wednesday, 25 February, 2009. Prices rose after energy department reported in its weekly inventory report that gasoline inventories dropped during last week. On Wednesday, crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for April delivery closed at $42.5/barrel (higher by $2.54 or 6.4%) on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

EIA reported today that crude inventories rose by 700,000 barrels to 351.3 million during last week. Market had expected a rise of more than 2 million barrels. Total products supplied over the past four weeks, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, averaged 19.7 million barrels per day, down 0.8% from a year ago. Excluding jet fuel, total products supplied rose slightly.

EIA also reported that U.S. gasoline consumption during the past four weeks rose 1.7% from a year ago. Gasoline inventories fell by 3.4 million barrels.

Tomorrow there are quite a few earnings and economic reports scheduled. January durable goods orders and weekly initial jobless claims are scheduled at 9:30ET followed by the January new home sales report.