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April 1, 2015

US stocks tumble after private sector payrolls data disappoints

US markets opened on the back foot, ahead of the ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for March.


PMI readings from China and Europe have provided some cheer, but the private sector payrolls reading from payrolls processing firm ADP made for grim reading ahead of Friday’s official jobless figures for March.


The Dow Jones industrial average was off 179 points at 17,597 and the broader-based S&P 500 tumbled 14 points to 2054. The NASDAQ Composite was off 33 points at 4,867 after half an hour of trading.


Agriculture company Monsanto’s second quarter earnings per share (EPS) came in a bit below expectations. EPS of US$2.90 was about three cents below the market consensus forecast.


Revenue of US$5.2bn was well below forecasts of US$5.59bn, and there was further bad news as the company said full-year EPS will be towards the lower end of the guidance range.


Deutsche Bank has been reviewing the US airline sector and making a few downgrades. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Continental have all been moved to ‘hold’.


Jefferies has lifted its rating of computer seller Hewlett-Packard, while the same broker initiated coverage of social networking firm Twitter with a ‘buy’ recommendation and a price target of US$65.



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