Closing Bell: Upbeat U.S. Economic Data Stops Global Selloff


Good news on the U.S. economy stops the global selloff in its tracks.

The Dow Industrials avoided their first four-day losing streak of the year, jumping 180 points and closing back above 15,000. The Nasdaq gained 44 points, and the S&P 500 added 23.

A pedestrian walks past an electronic stock board in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Photographer: Junko Kimura/Bloomberg
Junko Kimura/Bloomberg
Before the open, it looked like the losses would continue, following another big selloff in Japan. The benchmark Nikkei Index plunged more than 6 percent overnight, pushing it into bear market territory –- down 20 percent from its high.

But some positive economic data managed to stop the bleeding.

The Labor Department reported that 12,000 fewer Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week. Jobless claims are now close to their lowest levels since 2007, indicating that hiring may start picking up.

Consumer spending also seems to be gathering steam. Retail sales jumped 0.6 percent in May, after just a slight increase in April.

At the NYSE, investors turned up their noses at Coty's debut. The company makes perfumes for Calvin Klein, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, among others. But the stock lost 1 percent on its first day, amid concerns that Coty may face heavy competition and a decline in discretionary spending.

On the M&A front, Gannett is buying Belo for about $1.5 billion dollars. The deal will nearly double Gannett's television portfolio, making it the nation's fourth-largest owner of major network affiliates. Gannett surged 34 percent on the news, while Belo jumped more than 28 percent.

Meanwhile, shares of Safeway gained 7.5 percent on word that it's selling off its Canadian operations. The buyer is Sobeys, and the price tag is $5.7 billion.

Among blue chips, Caterpillar, Merck and Pfizer were among the biggest winners. But DuPont lost ground after saying that its earnings this year will come in at the low end of previous forecasts.

And finally, Apple may be trying to take a bite out of the smartphone competition. Reuters cited sources who say the company will roll out two new iPhones in the next year. One may be cheaper than the current models and available in different colors, while the other could have a larger screen.

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Up beat economic news? Really the Fed is going to pipe down on the possiblility of raising interest rates. It's just like giving the crying baby candy to shut it up and make it happy. But in the long run the candy will make the baby unhealthy and obese. Even a dying person has a good day right before they die.

June 14 2013 at 7:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Upbeat economy?? What cave has the writer been hiding in?? Tell this to the 25 million folks not working.

June 14 2013 at 7:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Charles's comment

Upbeat means things are starting to get better. Businesses are hopeful the George Bush disaster is finally coming to an end.

June 14 2013 at 7:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

there are plenty of people - (not naming names but you republicans know it's you) who, no matter what this administration does, say it's not good enough. and then there are plenty (and i do mean PLENTY) of people who are always going to be negative (and jealous), no matter who it is that succeeds - like your neighbor or friend or uncle or a high school buddy. so, i have something to say to those two groups.....please wallow in your spite and continue to aggravate..........yourself. you deserve it.

June 14 2013 at 6:32 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

It appears the socialist, Marxist, evil Obama is doing a pretty good job. Hopefully this will be enough to make all of the tea baggers to spontaneously combust ! Fingers crossed !

June 14 2013 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to sigmastef's comment

I assume that you don’t think it's good to look and listen to "all" point of view and not just one. Republican, Democrat, and Tea Party all have come up with a good ideas from time to time. But, everyone are in their own little worlds and are so entrenched into thinking only one way that even if the trees in the forest jump out in front of you, they might be ignored………….

June 14 2013 at 12:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

When did the POTUS start writing monetary policy?

June 14 2013 at 7:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The headline should read: Stock traders wanting to collect their commissions stop global selloff. We have a rigged economy, a rigged tax system, a rigged banking system, a rigged healthcare system, a rigged agricultural system, a rigged defense contractor system, a rigged political system, and a rigged energy system. Obamacare is not affordable care, and wars are good for business. We have the best politicians that money can buy. Get used to it, and do your best to take care of you and your family. Everything else is already bought and sold to the highest contributor.

June 13 2013 at 11:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to fpeter8183's comment

You forgot to add a word that is a "free” rigged healthcare system ( sarcasm).............

June 14 2013 at 12:39 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

If these are the best money can buy, it's time for a refund.

June 14 2013 at 7:30 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Thanks to President Obama's steady as you go economic policies. We may not be moving forward as fast as he would like, but we are moving FORWARD. He is doing everything possible to improve and strengthen our economy, without getting the much needed help from the Republican Congress, which will not pass jobs bills. Imagine where we would be if they had signed the American Jobs Bill, and recinded the Bush tax break to the wealthy at the time he tried to implement that Bill.

June 13 2013 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to wbischo's comment

End of summer, I'm bailing. I hope it can reach 16,500 by the end of August. I won't be working long enough to recover from a major crash like '08.

June 13 2013 at 11:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only thing the big players are watching is the federal reserve. Surely you have noticed that any time uncle ben so much as hints that he is going to cut back or even stop this latest round of QE there is a sell off.

Anyone else notice that while stocks have been going up, volume has been relatively low?

June 13 2013 at 10:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Pretty bad news for the GOP

June 13 2013 at 9:53 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to CARL HECK's comment

Why would that be? Aren't they the evil rich wall st types that you demonize?

June 13 2013 at 10:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The market is only a paper tiger with no legs. Be careful Carl.

June 13 2013 at 11:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The only thing that has improved at all is the stock market. Wonder why? Keep running the money printing presses and borrowing from China. Fewer people actually working now than in past 20 plus years.

June 13 2013 at 9:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Charles's comment