The stock markets in the United States declined driven by several disappointing reports about the manufacturing sector recently.
Today, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index declined from 59.4% to 45.8, which is below that 58% expectation. The Institute of Supply Management (ISM)-Milwaukee declined from 51.6% to 50.32%, lower than the 54% estimate.
Yesterday, the Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity posted a decline from 3% to 1% compared with 3% estimate. On February 24, the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index fell from 6% to 0%. The expectation was 6%. On February 23, the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity was worse at -11.4% compared with the previous -4.4%.
On February 19, the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook dropped from 6.3% to 5.3%, significantly lower than the estimated 9% while the Empire State Manufacturing Survey released on February 17 declined from 9.95% to 7.78%, which also missed the 8% expectations.
Separately, the oil producers in the United States continue to reduce their rig counts. According to Baker Hughes, the number of oil rigs declined by 33 to 986, the first time for the U.S. rig count to drop below 1,000 since June 2011. Over the past four months, the United States lost most than one-third of rigs, a threatening sign that the shale boom could stop as early as this year.
The declining oil prices already resulted to thousands of job cuts in the oil exploration and production industry in country.
In a recent report, Goldman Sachs commented, “The current rig count is pointing to U.S. production growth decelerating close to the level required in our view to balance the oil market. We continue to expect that lower prices will be required in order for the capex and rig cuts to materialize into sufficiently lower production growth.”
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 18,132.70 (-0.45%)
- S&P 500- 2,104.50 (-0.30%)
- NASDAQ- 4,963.53 (-0.49%)
- Russell 2000- 1,233.37 (-0.46%)
- EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,599.00 (+0.67%)
- FTSE 100 Index- 6,946.66 (-0.04%)
- Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,401.66 (+0.66%)
- Nikkei 225- 18,797.94 (+0.06%)
- Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,823.29 (-0.32%)
- Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,572.84 (+0.18%)
Stocks in Focus
The stock price of Monster Beverage surged more than 13% to $141.12 per share after the company reporting strong profit for the fourth quarter. The company reported $0.72 in earnings per share, up from $0.44 per share in the year-ago quarter. Analysts expected the company to post $0.59 in earnings per share.
The shares of Sprint Corporation gained more than 7% to $5.12 per share after its CEO Raul Marcelo Claure disclosed that it acquired more than 5 million shares of the company. Sprint also announced that it will add up to 20,000 new cell sites to its LTE Network.
Ross Stores gained more than 6% to $105.81 per share after Nomura Securities analyst Robert Brbul raised his price target to $112 per share and reiterated his Buy rating for the stock. The company also posted better than expected earnings of $1.20 per share for the fourth quarter and $4.42 per share for the full year 2014.