U.S. stocks ended modestly higher on Monday, 06 August 2012. Stocks kicked off the week with small gains and hung to them almost throughout the day. Stocks extended the prior week's gains, as better-than-anticipated corporate earnings and diminished concern about Europe's debt troubles heartened sentiment. Low volume and a lack of economic news contributed to an uneventful session. Stocks pared some losses while going to close.
For the day, Dow ended higher by 21.3 points (0.2%) at 13,122.62. Nasdaq ended higher by 22.01 points (0.74%) at 2,989.91. S&P 500 ended higher by 3.24 points (0.23%) at 1,394.23.
Materials and technology were the leading performers and utilities the worst among the 10 industry groups on a sectoral basis.
The general market place was quieter to start the trading week, as there were no major news developments. Equities rallied following Friday's surprisingly strong U.S. jobs report. There was also some upbeat news coming out of the European Union, as reports said European Central Bank officials are claiming they don't need unanimous EU approval to buy bonds of the struggling EU countries.
Stocks also got positive cues from other global markets across the world. Asian markets closed considerably higher following Friday's positive U.S. nonfarm payroll report. Japan's Nikkei gained 2.0%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.7%, while shares in Shanghai advanced 1.4%. In Europe, Spain's IBEX finished 4.4% higher after trading was halted for nearly 5 hours due to a technical issue. Other European indices posted more modest gains with France's CAC and Germany's DAX both rising by 0.8%, while UK's FTSE advanced 0.4%.
In the currency market on Monday, the dollar index, which weighs the strength of the dollar against a basket of six other currencies, fell by 0.25%. The greenback bulls are fading as the dollar index hit a fresh four-week low on Monday.
Last Friday report showed that the U.S. economy added 163,000 nonfarm jobs in July, topping the average forecast of a rise of 100,000. The unemployment rate, however, edged up to 8.3% from 8.2%.
Among major stocks under focus, Knight Capital Group bounced off lows but ended down 24% after morning's news that the company had raised $400 million through the sale of preferred, convertible stock.
Materials producers showed strength across the board. United States Steel was the best performer within the group and traded higher by 6.0%. Additionally, Newmont Mining and Freeport-McMoRan were up 4.4% and 3.1% respectively.
Cognizant was up 11.4% after beating earnings and revenue forecasts. Tyson Foods ended lower by 5.0% after missing earnings estimates and issuing a cautious full-year outlook.
Best Buy shares rallied 13% after founder and former chairman Richard Schulze offered to acquire the electronics retailer for as much as $8.8 billion.
Oil prices ended modestly higher on Monday, 06 August at Nymex. Prices ended higher following Friday's encouraging job report and as dollar turned weak. On Monday, crude oil futures for light sweet crude for September delivery closed higher by $0.80 (0.9%) at $92.2/barrel.
Gold for December delivery rose $6.9, or 0.4%, to end at $1,616.2 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday. On Monday, silver prices for September delivery rose 6 cents (0.2%) to end at $27.86.
For every stock rising fewer than two declined on the New York Stock Exchange, where composite volume was just over 3 billion, or about 85% of the past month's average. Nasdaq composite volume crossed 1.5 billion.
Indian ADRs ended mostly higher on Monday. ICICI Bank gained 1.2%. Tata Motors gained 2.7%. Infosys and Wipro Technologies gained 1.5% and 1.2% respectively. HDFC bank lost 0.3%.
For tomorrow, no economic data is expected for release. Earnings will pour in great numbers.
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