The stock markets in the United States gained driven by the increase of oil prices today. The prices of Brent and WTI crude oil climbed by 4.62% to $56.66 per barrel and 4.25% to $50.51 per barrel, respectively.
The market also benefited from the report of the Department of Labor indicating the employment situation in the United States is improving at a steady pace.
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The agency reported that the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits were 278,000 for the week ended January 31. Economists expected 290,000 claims. The current claims are 15% lower than the number recorded in the same period last year.
A separate report from the Department of Commerce showed that the U.S. trade deficit expanded 17.1% to $46.6 billion, the highest level since 2012. JP Morgan economic Michael Feroli commented, “It is not hard to come up with reasons for the weakness in today’s report—sluggish foreign growth and a strong dollar are the obvious ones
On the other hand, Krishna Memani, chief investment officer at Oppenheimer Funds opined that investors are currently focusing on earnings, Greece and mergers & acquisitions (M&A). Memani said, “It’s more about the corporate outlook in the U.S. remaining good and the realization that while the Greek issue is important, it will eventually be resolved.”
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,878.84 (+1.16%)
- S&P 500- 2,062.30 (+1.02%)
- NASDAQ- 4,765.10 (+1.03%)
- Russell 2000- 1,209.71 (+1.53%)
- EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,408.96 (-0.19%)
- FTSE 100 Index- 6,865.93 (+0.09%)
- Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 10,905.41 (-0.05%)
- Nikkei 225- 17,504.62 (-0.98%)
- Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,765.49 (+0.35%)
- Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,366.95 (-1.02%)
Stocks in Focus
The stock price of Frontier Communications increased almost 6% to $7.70 per share on a report that it might acquire the landline assets of Verizon Communications for $10 billion. Sources told the Wall Street Journal that the companies will probably announce a deal this week.
Michael Kors Holdings dropped more than 2% to $69.77 per share after reporting same store sales in North America that missed the estimates of Wall Street analysts. The company reported a sales growth of 6% in the region compared with the 9.3% estimated growth. Analysts are concerned that the company may be slowing down in the largest market.
The shares of Keurig Green Mountain declined almost 5% to $115.30 per share after issuing weak earnings outlook for 2015. The company’s quarterly earnings of $0.88 per share on $1.39 billion in revenue were lower than the $0.89 in earnings per share on $1.46 billion in revenue consensus estimate.