Stocks: Wednesday's review
Japanese stocks advanced for a seventh day, with the benchmark index completing its longest winning streak in two years, as exporters and banks climbed amid easing concern over Europe’s debt crisis and reports signaled stronger economic recoveries at home and in the U.S.
Nippon Paper Group Inc. led increases by producers of cardboard and pulp, rising 5.2 percent today, after saying it will increase prices. Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., the country’s second-biggest oil driller by sales, gained 3.8 percent after crude prices rose.
Nintendo Co. rose 3.1 percent after a report the game maker is expanding into smartphone games.
The Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average gained 1.1 percent to 10,082.48 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo.
Shares rose as factory production rebounded in May and a report showed companies plan to increase investment in plant and equipment at almost twice the estimated rate this year.
Japanese shares rose after a report on U.S. factory orders suggested manufacturing in the world’s biggest economy is recovering from a slowdown. Orders increased 0.8 percent in May, helping to recover ground lost a month earlier when bookings fell 0.9 percent. Economists predicted a 1 percent gain.
European stocks declined, halting a seven-day rally, as China raised interest rates and Moody’s Investors Service cut Portugal’s credit rating to junk.
Banco Espirito Santo SA (BES) and Banco Comercial Portugues SA (BCP) led Portuguese banks lower, sliding more than 5 percent.
Carlsberg A/S, the owner of Russia’s biggest brewer, dropped 4.4 percent after a report that the nation may tighten regulation of alcoholic-drink sales. Scor SE (SCR), France’s largest reinsurer, lost 3.1 percent.
In the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing businesses decreased to 53.3 in June from 54.6 a month earlier. A reading above 50 signals expansion. The measure was projected to drop to 53.7, according to the median forecast in a survey.
A separate report in Germany showed factory orders unexpectedly increased in May, led by domestic demand for investment goods such as machinery. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, rose 1.8 percent from April, when they surged a revised 2.9 percent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said.
US Stocks traded listlessly again yesterday. The lack of action comes after last week's heady advance, but precedes the payrolls report on Friday.
The broad equity market was mired near the neutral line for the second straight session. Participants continue to rest on the laurels of last week's 5.6% gain, which was the best weekly performance for the S&P 500 in about two years.
There weren't many headlines that acted as trading cues for participants this session. The only item on the economic calendar was the ISM Non-Manufacturing Survey for June. It came in at 53.3, which is less than the 54.0 that had been expected, on average, among economists polled by Briefing.com. The reading is also less than the 54.6 that was reported for the prior month.
Today's calendar features the latest weekly initial jobless claims tally and the ADP Employment Report, which is offers a glimpse into the always pivotal official Nonfarm Payrolls Report on Friday. Uncertainty surrounding the jobs report ahead of its release often results in range bound trade.
Tech stocks and industrial issues displayed strength today. Those sectors settled with 0.5% gains, but that was offset by weakness among financial stocks, which collectively shed 0.6%.
Financials were a primary source of weakness for foreign markets in their latest round of trade. More specifically, Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank (DB 58.40, -1.02) weighed down Germany's DAX; BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole undercut France's CAC, and; Britain's FTSE faltered amid weakness in Barclays (BCS 16.15, -0.59) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS 12.12, -0.45). Banks in China were weak a day after Moody's made it know that loans to local governments were likely understated by about a half trillion dollars. As an aside, China tacked on another 25 basis points to its target interest rate, as had been widely speculated in recent weeks.