The stock markets rallied again today driven by the positive momentum of companies in the biotechnology and semiconductor industries.

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The Department of Commerce reported that the retails sales declined 0.3% in June. The figure reduced investors’ optimism regarding the strength of recovery of consumer spending in the second quarter. Economists polled by Bloomberg expected a 0.3% gain in retail sales last month.

The report showed that autor dealers, clothing stores, furniture dealrs and restaurant operators suffered sales decline in June.

Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC told Bloomberg, “The weakness is pretty broad-based, but it does look like categories that you would consider to be seasonal in nature looked to be very weak. It puts a little cold water on the idea that the consumer was gathering momentum.”

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Mark Kepner an equity trader at Themis Trading expressed disappointment with the retail sales numbers. He was also surprised by the market rally today.

Kepner also said, Maybe the drumbeat of the September rate rise is something that may get pushed back to later in the year. Going forward it’s going to take earnings to push us higher. JPMorgan started the week of earnings off pretty well.”

Investors are now focusing their attention on corporate earnings. Over the past few weeks, the investors closely monitored the Greece’s debt crisis and China’s equity market volatility.

Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co said investors are trying to figure out what will happen next after the three-day market gains. “With China and Greece hopefully in the rear-view mirror, we’re focused on domestic things, with Yellen’s testimony tomorrow and a retail sales number that hasn’t been increasing in the face of lower oil prices,” he said.

U.S. Markets

(As of 3:40 P.M in New York)                                                      

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 18,062.70 (+0.47%)
  • S&P 500- 2,110.44 (+0.52%)
  • NASDAQ- 5,110.58 (+0.77%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,273.64 (+0.66%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,607.19 (+0.47%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,753.75 (+0.23%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,516.90- (+0.28%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 20,385.33 (+1.47%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 25,120.91 (-0.41%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 4,112.15 (-2.37%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Micron Technology surged almost 12% to $19.70 per share. China’s top microchip maker, Tsinghua Unigroup is interested to acquire Micron Technology for $23 billion. Credit Suisse issued a report indicating that deal was “highly unlikely” to get an approval from U.S. regulators.

The stock value of SeaSpine Holdings increased more than 20% to $17.43 per share. It is the highest gainer among the companies trading on NASDAQ today. Analysts at Piper Jaffray recommended an Overweight rating with a $24 price target on the stock early this month. SeaSpine Hodling is a medical technology company.

Ocular Therapeutix gained 18% to $24.92 per share. BTOG Research initiated a coverage on the shares of the company with a Buy rating and a $65 price target.

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