Stocks seesaw as traders prepare for busy week of economic, earnings reportsBy Stephen Bernard, AP
Monday, October 4, 2010
Stocks waver at the beginning of a busy week
NEW YORK — Stocks are wavering in morning trading as investors saw little reason to make big moves to kick off a busy week of economic and earnings reports.
A report Monday shows factory orders fell 0.5 percent in August, slightly worse than anticipated.
Meanwhile, the number of buyers that signed contracts to purchase homes rose in August by more than expected. The National Association of Realtors pending home sale index rose 4.3 percent. Economists were expecting a smaller rise.
The Dow Jones industrial average is down 8, or 0.1 percent, at 10,822. The S&P 500 is down 2, or 0.2 percent, at 1,144, while the Nasdaq composite is down 10, or 0.4 percent, at 2,361.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks wavered in early trading Monday as investors saw little reason to make big moves to kick off a busy week of economic and earnings reports.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 3 points in early morning trading.
Traders were awaiting the first batch of reports, which include reports on August factory orders and pending home sales. Factory orders likely fell, while pending home sales grew, but remain at very low levels.
With the biggest reports due out later in the week, culminating with Friday’s monthly employment report, traders focused on corporate news.
France’s Sanofi-Aventis launched an $18.5 billion hostile takeover offer for Genzyme Corp. Sanofi-Aventis’ previous offer was rejected by Genzyme’s board, so it is now taking the offer directly to shareholders. The offer, at $69 per share, is unchanged from Sanofi-Aventis’ original offer in July.
Swiss regulators said they will require the country’s two biggest banks, Credit Suisse Group and UBS AG, to hold more money in reserve than the amount required under newly agreed upon international standards.
The Dow rose 3.03, or less than 0.1 percent, to 10,833.69 in early morning trading.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.22, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,146.02, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 5.22, or 0.2 percent, to 2,365.53.
Factory orders likely fell 0.4 percent in August according to economists polled by Thomson Reuters. The drop, due largely to plummeting aircraft orders, would reverse gains seen in July. Excluding the volatile aircraft sector, orders likely rose 3 percent, which is a steep retreat from the 5.2 percent growth seen in July.
Meanwhile, the number of buyers that signed contracts to purchase homes in August likely crept higher, but remains at very weak levels. Economists predict the National Association of Realtors pending home sales index rose to 81.4 in August from 79.4 in July.
The week’s blitz of economic reports and the start of earnings season will provide traders with strong insight into the strength of the economy as the fourth quarter begins. With unemployment still very high, traders will be most closely be watching Friday’s monthly jobs report. Investors worry that the economy will continue to muddle along very slowly until unemployment drops and private employers start to strong ramp up hiring.
Tags: Business And Professional Services, Manufacturing Sector Performance, New York, North America, United States