Bloomberg News

U.S. Stocks Swing Between Gains, Losses on Economy, Europe Debt

October 05, 2011

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks swung between gains and losses after reports on jobs growth and American service industries topped estimates and investors watched for progress in Europe’s efforts to tame its debt crisis.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.1 percent to 1,122.72 at 10:13 a.m. in New York after tumbling as much as 0.7 percent and gaining 0.4 percent.

The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non- manufacturing businesses decreased to 53 in September from 53.3 a month earlier. A reading above 50 signals expansion. The figure topped the median estimate of economists for a drop to 52.8.

U.S. stock futures gained before the open of exchanges after companies in the U.S. added 91,000 jobs in September, according to ADP Employer Services. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 75,000 gain. Labor Department data in two days is forecast to show a 90,000 increase in private jobs and a net 60,000 gain in non-farm payrolls, according to the median economist estimates in a survey, with the jobless rate projected to remain at 9.1 percent.

Yesterday’s Rally

The S&P 500 closed 2.3 percent higher yesterday after the Financial Times quoted EU Economic and Monetary Commissioner Olli Rehn as saying European leaders were discussing a coordinated effort to recapitalize the region’s banks. It was the 10th time since 1985 that the index posted a loss of 1 percent or more at 3 p.m. and was up when the market closed, according to data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group LLC in Harrison, New York. The measure declined the next day eight times, with losses averaging 1.3 percent, the data show.

Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, will mark the unofficial start of the earnings-reporting season when it reports results on Oct. 11. Third-quarter profits for S&P 500 companies are projected to have grown 13 percent, according to analyst forecast compiled by Bloomberg, down from an estimate of 17 percent when the index traded at a three-year high at the end of April.

Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, predicted a “nice year-end rally” in stocks after profits come in higher than analysts’ estimated.

“Earnings will surprise to the upside, earnings estimates have been slashed too much,” Belski said on Bloomberg Television’s “Inside Track With Deirdre Bolton and Erik Schatzker.” “Corporate America has gone through so much structural reform in the last 10 or 12 years that they continue to be positioned to under-promise, over-deliver.”

--Editor: Michael P. Regan

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net


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