Markets & Finance

Stocks Finish Higher


Stocks retained gains from earlier in the session Tuesday, finishing higher even as oil prices touched $60 a barrel. Dow component Wal-Mart (WMT) was up 3% on an improved sales guidnace, while health care and food staples groups were also higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 68.36 points, or 0.66%, to 10,371.80. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index added 10.55 points, or 0.88%, to 1,204.99. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was up 21.38 points, or 1.04%, to 2,078.75.

In the energy markets Tuesday, August crude oil settled up 84 cents to $59.59 a barrel, after breaking the $60 barrier earlier in the session. Prices were driven higher due to higher gas demand and worries that tropical storm Cindy could disrupt production in the Gulf of Mexico.

May factory orders rose 2.9%, after a 0.7% gain in April, slightly beating expectations.

The week's most closely watched economic release will be the employment report for June, due out on Friday. Economists are expecting June's non-farm payrolls to rise by about 190,000, after growing by a disappointing 78,000 in May, according to Action Economics.

Other reports include the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing survey on Wednesday, and weekly initial jobless claims on Thursday.

Retailing giant Wal-Mart said June same-store sales for the U.S. should be 4.5%, an improvement from its previous guidance of 2%-4%.

Database software outfit Oracle (ORCL) confirmed that its earnings could be 2% lower than expected for the quarter, due it said to the recent weakness in the dollar.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) lost a jury decision vs. Boston Scientific concerning whether the company infringed on Boston Scientific's patents for stents.

In deal news, floor covering company Mowhawk Industries (MHK) says it plans to acquire Belgium-based Unilin Holding NV for roughly $2.6 billion. Unilin, a laminate flooring maker, had sales last year of roughly $1 billion.

Earnings season kicks off on Thursday, with companies such as aluminium producer Alcoa (AA) and consultant Accenture (ACN) scheduled to report the latest quarterly results.

Treasury Market

Treasuries extended losses Tuesday, on expectations that the Fed will continue raising rates for months to come and Friday's strong manufacturing number from the Institue of Supply Management, says Action Economics. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note rose to 4.11%.

World Markets

European stock markets finished mixed Tuesday. London's FTSE 100 index gained 5.80 points, or 0.11%, to 5,190.10. BRC retail sales fell by 0.5%, while Brent crude oil futures rose.

In Germany, the DAX index went down 19.76 points, or 0.43%, to 4,603.65. Deutsche Telekom was lower, after JP Morgan released a report saying it is unlikely the company will sellits T-Mobile wireless business in the U.S. FJH was higher after a strong quarterly earnings report.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index lost 11.85 points, or 0.28%, moving to 4,252.75. Michelin was lower amid reports of a 9-year high in natural rubber prices. Lagadere and Accor were higher after Goldman Sachs upgraded its rating on the pair.

Asian markets finished lower Tuesday. In Japan, the Nikkei index lost 34.85 points, or 0.30%, to 11,616.70, as traders took profits following five straight days of gains. Banking stocks including Mizuho Financial and the auto sector weighed on the market.

In Hong Kong, the stock markets fell 53.07 points, or 0.37%, to 14,124.80, on concerns related to future rate hikes from the U.S., says Standard & Poor's MarketScope.


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