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Stocks End the Week Lower              05/29 15:50

   Stocks sank Friday following news that the U.S. economy shrank in the first 
three months of the year.

   NEW YORK (AP) --- Stocks sank Friday following news that the U.S. economy 
shrank in the first three months of the year.

   The revised data showed that gross domestic product contracted 0.7 percent 
in the first quarter. That was worse than the government's initial estimate of 
growth of 0.2 percent.

   The Dow Jones industrial average lost 115.44 points, or 0.6 percent, to 
18,010.68. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 13.40 points, or 0.6 percent, 
to 2,107.39 and the Nasdaq composite lost 27.95 points, or 0.6 percent, to 
5,070.03.

   All three indexes ended the week lower. It was the first weekly loss for the 
S&P 500 following three weeks of gains.

   Investors had two other disappointing pieces of economic news to work 
through. A Chicago manufacturing survey fell to 46.2, well below the 53 that 
economists were anticipating, and a measure of consumer sentiment fell to a 
six-month low in May.

   Along with the disappointing economic data, investors continued to watch 
developments out of Greece.

   Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said a deal with the country's 
creditors could be ready by the weekend, but it appears other key officials are 
less confident.

   "With it being a Friday and the uncertainty around the Greece situation and 
the disappointing economic data, naturally investors are taking some of their 
positions off the table," said JJ Kinahan, a strategist at TDAmeritrade.

   Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, said a Greek 
exit from the euro remains a possibility, while German Finance Minister 
Wolfgang Schaeuble also appeared cautious in comments following the end of a 
meeting of top finance officials in Berlin. Without a deal to receive its 
remaining bailout cash soon, Greece faces the grim possibilities of defaulting 
on its debt or ditching the euro. Figures from the European Central Bank 
showing Greek bank deposits are at their lowest in more than a decade only 
added to the prevailing gloom.

   Among individual stocks, shares of Humana rose $36.24, or 20 percent, to 
$214.65 after The Wall Street Journal reported that the health insurance 
company has hired investment bankers to potentially sell the company.

   GameStop rose $2.49, or 6 percent, to $43.41. The video game retailer posted 
results that exceeded analysts' estimates, helped by the sale of recently 
released video game titles.

   In energy, the price of oil rose nearly 5 percent Friday on an increase in 
demand and a surprisingly large decline in the number of rigs drilling for oil 
in the U.S. Benchmark U.S. crude rose $2.62 to close at $60.30 a barrel in New 
York. Oil finished the week up 1 percent. Brent crude, a benchmark for 
international oil used by many U.S. refineries, rose $2.98 to close at $65.56 
in London.

   In other futures trading on the NYMEX, wholesale gasoline rose 10.1 cents to 
close at $2.086 a gallon, heating oil rose 8.5 cents to close at $1.955 a 
gallon, and natural gas fell 6.4 cents --- its fifth decline in a row --- to 
close at $2.642 per 1,000 cubic feet.

   U.S. government bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury 
note fell to 2.12 percent. The euro rose to $1.0984 to the dollar, while the 
dollar rose to 124.13 yen against the Japanese currency.

   Precious and industrial metals futures ended mixed. Gold rose $1.30 to 
$1,189.40 an ounce, silver rose three cents to $16.70 an ounce and copper fell 
four cents to $2.73 a pound.


(KA)


 
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