Stock markets in the United States fluctuated after the United States Department of Commerce reported today that the growth of retail sales slowed down in April.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S&P 500 ended today’s regular trading session with 0.12% and 0.04% gains respectively, while the NASDAQ dropped 0.33%.

Data showed that retail sales increased by just 0.1% last month, compared with the 1.5% growth rate in March, which was the highest gain recorded in four years.  According to the Department of Commerce, retail sales were affected by declines in receipts at appliance, electronics, and furniture stores, restaurants and bars, and online retailers.

Economists believed that the U.S. economy will still grow faster despite the results of retail sales last month. Robert Dye, chief economist as Comerica Incorporated (NYSE:CMA), told Reuters, “The consumers are catching their breath after a rebound from the winter freeze, but we do remain on track to see stronger consumer spending…through the remainder of this year.

On the other hand, Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors, opined, “”It’s possible that consumers are being a bit more cautious in their spending habits as they await confirmation that the economy is, in fact, poised to re-accelerate.”

Commenting on the movement of the stock markets, Eric Marshall, a portfolio manager at Hodge Funds, told Bloomberg in a telephone interview that there is a “stealth rally in the market to this record.” According to him, “The fact that we’ve moved up and hit new highs, in spite of some lingering negative sentiment, is a very healthy and positive thing for the market.”

Twelve companies listed in the S&P 500, including Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS), Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), are scheduled to report their latest financial results this week.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,715.15 (+0.12%)
  • S&P 500- 1,897.40 (+0.04 %)
  • NASDAQ- 4,130.17 (-0.33%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,123.91 (-0.86%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,211.78 (+0.15%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,873.08 (+0.31%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,754.43 (+0.54%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,425.44 (+1.95%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,352.38 (+0.41%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,174.85 (-0.24%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR) gained more than 8% to close at $119.07 per share today. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) increased its stake in the K-cup maker from 10% to 16%. Based on a regulatory filing, Coca-Cola beneficially owns more than 26 million shares of Keurig Green Mountain.

Shares of McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) rose more than 3% to close the day at $180 per share after the largest drug wholesaler in the United States reported better-than-expected adjusted earnings of $2.55 per share for its fourth quarter. Wall Street analysts had forecast that it would post $2.39 in earnings per share. The company’s $38.1 billion revenue also outperformed the $35.9 billion revenue consensus estimate.

The stock value of Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) climbed almost 2% to close at $3.66 per share. The online social gaming company launched its Hit It Rich! Slots on Google Play. It is also available on the iPhone, iPad, and on the web. The game is free and offers  consumers a real casino-like experience.