Stock Market Today – Traders Gain Confidence despite Jobs and Retail Sales Reports

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(Best Syndication News) Stocks opened lower but slowly drifted higher Thursday despite disappointing economic news from the United States (see stock charts below). Markets are closing mixed Friday in Asia.

World Markets

Markets in Asia opened and closed lower on Thursday (see the world market chart below). Slowing exports from China and Japan may be putting downward pressure on some equities.

The Shanghai composite index (China) fell just 0.02 percent; however the Nikkei 225 (Japan) and the Hang Seng (Hong Kong) declined even more. The TSEC (Taiwan) and the S&P ASX 200 (Australia) declined 0.02 percent and 0.16 percent respectively.

Successful bond auctions in Italy and Spain provided some confidence for European investors. Last week, one-year bond yields were near an unsustainable seven percent. On Thursday, a successful auction in Italy pulled in €8.5 billion in 1-year bills at a yield rate of just 2.735 percent.

The lower yields and strong demand for the sovereign debt helped some equities. Although the FTSE 100 (England) and CAC 40 (France) were both down 0.15 percent, the DAX in Germany gained 0.44 percent. The Italia FTSE index gained two percent.

By the time markets opened in America, investor confidence was building. Dow futures were positive and traders were anticipating a healthy jobs report. But after a worse-than-expected initial jobless claims report stocks shifted lower. Retail sales for the holiday season were also disappointing.

The DJIA gained 0.17 percent while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ gained 0.23 percent and 0.512 percent respectively. The Brazilian Bovespa index was one of the few losers, down 0.07 percent.

On Friday the Shanghai composite index closed down 1.35 percent while the Nikkei 225 gained 1.36 percent. The Hang Seng is up 0.49 percent (delayed).

By: Dan Wilson

World Market Index:

Thursday World Stock Indexes 1 Day 1 Day 1 Week 30-Day 100-Day
1/12/2012 N. & S. AMERICA Pt Change % Change % Change % Change % Change
12,471.02 Dow Jones Industrial 21.57 0.17% 0.45% 3.76% 10.51%
1,295.50 S&P 500 3.02 0.23% 1.13% 4.12% 10.09%
2,724.70 NASDAQ Composite 13.94 0.51% 2.05% 3.72% 9.87%
12,274.32 S&P TSX Canada 13.38 0.11% 0.30% 1.65% -0.43%
59,920.78 Brazil Bovespa Stock -41.62 -0.07% 2.35% 3.52% 12.31%
37,320.97 IPC MXX - Mexico 13.33 0.04% 0.82% 1.54% 9.63%
770.49 Russell 2000 Sm-Cap 3.25 0.42% 2.42% 4.83% 14.24%
766.79 Russell 3000 98% Mkt 2.07 0.27% 1.40% 4.14% 12.00%
EUROPE
5,662.42 FTSE 100 England -8.40 -0.15% 0.68% 1.98% 10.38%
3,199.98 CAC 40 France -4.85 -0.15% 1.75% 1.11% 3.64%
6,179.21 DAX Germany 26.87 0.44% 1.37% 1.62% 11.59%
632.19 Athens Greece Comp. 3.11 0.49% -2.38% -8.47% -28.17%
6,018.07 SSMI - Swiss Market 10.03 0.17% -0.14% 5.23% 13.06%
843.46 SMSI - Madrid Spain 0.21 0.02% 1.32% -1.69% -4.01%
16,011.63 FTSE Italia All (Italy) 314.20 2.00% 2.49% -1.26% -5.12%
ASIA & PACIFIC
2,276.35 Shanghai China -0.48 -0.02% 5.94% -3.59% -12.88%
8,385.59 Nikkei 225 Japan -62.29 -0.74% -1.21% -2.99% -4.69%
19,095.38 Hang Seng Hong Kong -56.56 -0.30% 1.50% 0.29% -2.49%
7,186.58 TSEC Taiwan Exchange -1.63 -0.02% 0.78% 0.64% -3.47%
4,181.00 S&P ASX 200 Australia -6.50 -0.16% 0.92% -2.50% -0.45%
16,037.51 BSE Sensex Bombay -138.35 -0.86% 1.14% -4.80% 1.19%
4,831.25 CNX NIFTY NSE India -29.70 -0.61% 1.71% -4.33% 1.76%
1,864.57 Korea Com KOSPI 19.02 1.03% 0.04% -2.69% 4.81%
2743.66 STI Straight Times -3.47 -0.13% 1.13% -1.07% -0.16%

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