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Hong Kong Market slightly rebound in quiet trade
Aug 26,2016

The Hong Kong stock market fluctuated throughout the day before closing slightly higher on Friday, 26 August 2016, despite the weaker close of the US equity markets overnight, as investors remained cautious ahead of a speech later this evening by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on the outlook for US interest rates. Most sectors in Hong Kong rose, led by energy and tech stocks. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 94.59 points, or 0.41%, to 22909.54 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, rose 45.26 points, or 0.48%, to 9550.04. Turnover decreased to HK$54.8 billion from HK$68 billion on Thursday.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks mixed ahead of Fed remarks
Aug 24,2016

Asia Pacific share market were narrowly mixed on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, with Tokyo gaining slightly on a weaker yen and Shanghai taking a breather with investors looking ahead to remarks at the end of the week from the U.S. Fed chief.

Attention turns to an annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later this week with investors focused on a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday that may confirm and elaborate on recent hawkish statements on the need for a interest rate hike before the end of the year from fellow policymakers.

Among Asian bourses

Nikkei ups 0.6% as yen pause

The Japan share market recouped just enough to yesterday losses, thanks to buybacks of large-cap mainstay issues that reflected a pause in the yens advance against the dollar. The 225-issue Nikkei stock average advanced 99.94 points, or 0.61%, to end at 16597.30 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Topix index of all first-section issues grew 9.15 points, or 0.71%, to close at 1306.71. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1287 to 617 and 153 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 1.16% to 22.59.

Softbank Group surged 2.46%, after JP Morgan Securities raised its investment rating and stock price target for the mobile phone carrier. Peers KDDI and NTT Docomo were downbeat. The weaker yen gave a lift to automakers Toyota and Nissan, and electronics makers Sony and Canon.

Screen Holdings Co. was the biggest gainer on the Nikkei 225, advancing 7.8%, after Mizuho Financial Group Inc. raised its target price on the stock by 14%, citing improving margins.

Honda Motor Co. added 0.8% following a Nikkei newspaper report that it will raise output capacity for hybrid motors in October.

Furniture shop operator Nitori Holdings Co. lost 5.6% after reporting a slowdown in monthly sales growth. Clothing chain operator Shimamura Co. dropped 8.1% after same-store sales in August slumped 5.5% on the year.

ASX200 clings to gain

Australian share market finished session tad higher, as gain in materials, property trusts, and financials stocks were just enough to offset losses in a number of index heavyweights including Wesfarmers and Telstra. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 7.90 points, or 0.14%, to 5561.70. The broader All Ordinaries added 6.50 points, or 0.12%, to 5653.60.

Ardent Leisure was the biggest winner on the ASX 200, surging 14% after unveiling a 32% rise in annual profit, thanks to rising numbers of Chinese visitors to its theme parks. Sirtex Medical and Spotless Group also posted healthy gains after reporting results.

Qantas, Australias biggest airline, pleased investors by declaring its first dividend in seven years and posting a record profit. Even though the result fell slightly short of expectations and challenges remain, especially in the domestic market, the stock added 1.5%, as the airline flagged further share buybacks.

Telstra was the biggest drag on the benchmark index, losing 3.5% as the telecom traded ex-dividend. Retail and resources conglomerate Wesfarmers was another bluechip weighing heavily on the market, losing 2.2% after recording its worst net profit in 15 years. Other stocks that sold off following earnings reports included A2 Milk, Boral, McMillan Shakespeare and Blackmores.

Aconex lost 6.3%, as the construction software maker on Tuesday reported a 50% rise in revenue and an operating profit of A$13.6 million, which came in slightly below the lofty expectations of the analyst crowd. Both Credit Suisse and Deutsche cut their recommendations by one notch and are now neutral on the stock, mainly due to its high valuation after soaring more than 40% this year.

China Market falls as hopes for policy easing fade

Mainland China stock market closed lower, dragged down by financial and property shares amid receding expectations of aggressive monetary easing. The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.36% to 3329.86 points. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.12% at 3085.88 points while the Shenzhen Composite index closed up 0.31% at 2030.28 points.

Chinas central bank on Wednesday injected cash into money markets through 14-day reverse repurchase agreements for the first time since February, trimming the prospect of more liquidity injections expectations of further aggressive monetary easing.

The property shares finished lower with subindex losing 1.55%. China Vanke Co was among the top losers, which dropped 2.87%. The financial subindex was down 0.73%.

Hong Kong Market drops 0.77%

The Hong Kong stock declined, as profit booking triggered on fear recent gains were excessive relative to earnings prospects, with Chinese banks leading declines. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 178.15 points, or 0.77%, to 22820.78 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, declined 79.90 points, or 0.83%, to 9507.09. Turnover increased to HK$62 billion from HK$60.8 billion on Tuesday.

Galaxy Entertainment (00027) slid 3%, becoming worst blue-chip lower ahead of its earnings report tomorrow. Want Want (00151) jumped 3% to HK$5.06, becoming the top blue-chip gainer today, as Macquarie Research said the worst for the company is over, and maintained its outperform rating, with a higher target price of HK$6.7.

ICBC, Chinas largest lender, slid 2% after a momentum indicator rose to levels only seen during one period in the past five years, while China Construction Bank Corp. lost 0.9%. Both have erased their 2016 losses as they jumped at least 10% this month.

China Overseas Land & Investment fell 1.1% after China Merchants Securities analyst John So downgraded his recommendation on the stock. China Vanke Co. lost 0.5% after S&P Global Ratings lowered the outlook on the developers corporate ratings to negative from stable.

Henderson Land (00012) fell 1% after it reported interim earnings of HK$8.6 billion, representing a 13% decline. JP Morgan recommended an underweight while Deutsche Bank rated it a buy. New World (00017) and CK Property (01113) fell 1.5% and 2% to HK$9.75 and HK$54.7.

Sensex settles above 28,000 mark

Indian benchmark indices registered small gains in a lacklustre trading session. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 69.73 points or 0.25% to settle at 28,059.94. The Nifty 50 index rose 17.70 points or 0.21% to settle at 8,650.30.

Maruti Suzuki India edged higher on reports that a foreign brokerage has upgraded its rating on the stock to buy from outperform with target price of Rs 5,850 per share. Aurobindo Pharma surged after the company announced strong Q1 results. Indian Oil Corporation moved higher after the company said that its board of directors will consider issue of bonus shares along with Q1 June 2016 results on 29 August 2016.

Index heavyweight and software major Infosys nudged higher on reports that the company may get about $60 million (Rs 400 crore) in incremental revenue over the third and fourth quarters of the current financial year (FY 2017) as part of the Rs 1380 crore Goods Services and Tax Network (GSTN) project. Idea Cellular edged lower after the company denied reports that it was in merger talks with Vodafone India.

Welspun India tumbled on reports that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reviewing Welspuns cotton certification records following Target Corp.s decision to snap ties with the Indian textile maker over a cotton supply dispute.

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region: New Zealands NZX50 rose 0.1% to 7416.09. South Koreas KOSPI index declined 0.3% to 2043.76. Taiwans Taiex index fell 0.2% to 9017.38. Malaysias KLCI was down 0.1% to 1682.06. Singapores Straits Times index rose 0.7% to 2869.57. Indonesias Jakarta Composite index dropped 0.24% to 5403.99.

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Hong Kong Market drops 0.77%
Aug 24,2016

The Hong Kong stock declined on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, as profit booking triggered on fear recent gains were excessive relative to earnings prospects, with Chinese banks leading declines. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 178.15 points, or 0.77%, to 22820.78 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, declined 79.90 points, or 0.83%, to 9507.09. Turnover increased to HK$62 billion from HK$60.8 billion on Tuesday.

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China Market falls as hopes for policy easing fade
Aug 24,2016

Mainland China stock market closed lower on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, dragged down by financial and property shares amid receding expectations of aggressive monetary easing. The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.36% to 3329.86 points. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.12% at 3085.88 points while the Shenzhen Composite index closed up 0.31% at 2030.28 points.

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Nikkei ups 0.6% as yen pause
Aug 24,2016

The Japan share market finished higher on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, recouping just enough to yesterday losses, thanks to buybacks of large-cap mainstay issues that reflected a pause in the yens advance against the dollar. The 225-issue Nikkei stock average advanced 99.94 points, or 0.61 percent, to end at 16597.30 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Topix index of all first-section issues grew 9.15 points, or 0.71 percent, to close at 1306.71. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1287 to 617 and 153 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 1.16% to 22.59.

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ASX200 clings to gain
Aug 24,2016

Australian share market finished session tad higher on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, as gain in materials, property trusts, and financials stocks were just enough to offset losses in a number of index heavyweights including Wesfarmers and Telstra. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 7.90 points, or 0.14%, to 5561.70. The broader All Ordinaries added 6.50 points, or 0.12%, to 5653.60.

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Small gains for US stocks
Aug 24,2016

U.S. stocks closed in positive territory on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 but off the best levels of the session, after upbeat data on U.S. new-home sales and a stronger-than-expected gauge of European private-sector activity. The Nasdaq Composite briefly hit an all-time intraday high, while the S&P 500 flirted with its own intraday record.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day with a gain of 17.88 points, or 0.1%, at 18,547.30. The S&P 500 index finished up 4.26 points, or 0.2%, at 2,186.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 15.47 points, or 0.3%, at 5,260.08.

Eight out of 10 S&P 500 sectors posted gains, led by a climb in materials shares

The stock market ended a relatively quiet session on a slightly higher note as an above-consensus reading of the New Home Sales Report for July and better-than-expected earnings results from the retail sub-group bolstered the broader market. Equity indices jumped at the start of the session as a strong performance from European bourses and a better-than-expected quarterly report from Best Buy bolstered the broader market.

Todays economic data was limited to the New Home Sales Report for July. New home sales increased 12.4% month-over-month in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000, which was well above the consensus estimate of 580,000 and up 31.3% from the same period a year ago. July 2016 marked the strongest pace of new home sales since October 2007.

In other economic data, a reading of manufacturing sentiment was softer in August after hitting its highest level in nine months in July. The flash manufacturing purchasing managers index from Markit fell to a reading of 52.1 this month from 52.9 in July.

Crude-oil futures reversed course to turn sharply higher after a report suggested that Iran might be willing to work with other major crude producers to cap output. West Texas Intermediate settled up 1.5% at $48.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after tapping lows under $47.

Treasuries ended on a flat note with yields relatively unchanged throughout the complex. The yield on the 10-yr note finished flat at 1.54%.

Todays participation was below the recent average as fewer than 716 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Tomorrows economic data will include the weekly MBA Mortgage Index and the FHFA Housing Price Index for June, which will be released at 7:00 ET and 9:00 ET, respectively. The days data will be capped off with the Existing Home Sales Report for July (consensus 5.54 million), crossing the wires at 10:00 ET.

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ASX200 closes 0.7% up
Aug 23,2016

Australian share market finished session in green terrain on Tuesday, 23 August 2016, thanks to bargain buying in top lenders and better than expected quarterly earnings from Healthscope. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 38.70 points, or 0.7%, to 5553.80. The broader All Ordinaries added 34.80 points, or 0.62%, to 5647.10.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks down on Fed rate hike talks
Aug 22,2016

Asia Pacific share market closed mostly lower on Monday, 22 August 2016, following weak global markets trend, as investors ponder the possibility the U.S. Federal Reserve is preparing for a rate increase while investors trod carefully ahead of a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming later this week.

Central bankers will gather in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for a symposium at the end of the week. Market participants are watching for any signs that Federal Reserve officials see enough economic momentum to support raising interest rates in the coming months.

Bets on a near-term rate increase rose after comments Sunday by Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer that the central bank was close to hitting its targets for U.S. employment and inflation. New York Fed President William Dudley had said last week a rate hike would be possible at the Feds next policy meeting in September. That has heightened expectations for a hawkish speech Friday by Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

Among Asian bourses

Nikkei extends gain on softer yen

The Japan share market finished higher in volatile trade, supported by the yens easing against the dollar and other major currencies on the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates in the coming months. Total 27 out of 33 TSE sectors advanced with Land Transportation, Construction, Rubber Products, Electric Power & Gas, Services, and Retail Trade issues being major gainers. The 225-issue Nikkei stock average advanced 52.37 points, or 0.32%, to end at 16,598.19 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Topix index of all first-section issues grew 8.01 points, or 0.62%, to close at 1,303.68. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1461 to 479 and 117 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was down 0.05% to 22.01.

The dollar rose broadly against other major currencies, including the yen, which benefited Japanese exporters. Auto parts maker Aisin Seiki Co. rose 1.9% to Y4,795. Video game maker Nintendo Co. gained 3.1% to Y22,890.

Chip maker Renesas Electronics Corp. fell 3.1% to Y595 after saying Monday it is in talks to buy U.S.-based chip maker Intersil Corp., a move that could strengthen the Japanese companys business of making semiconductor components for cars. Renesas shares opened higher but soon gave up gains amid concerns about the hefty price tag and uncertainty over its competitiveness in an auto industry rapidly shifting to self-driving, electric cars. According to a person familiar with the discussions, the deal, if reached, would be valued at around Y300 billion ($3 billion).

ASX200 falls 0.21%

Australian share market finished edged lower, following weak global market trend, as investors ponder the possibility the U.S. Federal Reserve is preparing for a rate increase. Shares of energy, materials and banks players led market decline. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index declined 11.60 points, or 0.21%, to 5515.10. The broader All Ordinaries dropped 13.10 points, or 0.23%, to 5612.30.

Shares of energy companies sank under the weight of lower crude-oil prices in Asian trade, as investors sought to cash in gains on concerns the push higher by prices of late would encourage more U.S. shale-oil producers to return to the oil fields. Santos, which last week suspended dividend payments after swinging to a first-half loss on a writedown and lower prices, stumbled 6.8%. Beach Energy fell 6.6%, and Oil Search lost 2%. Woodside Petroleum bucked the trend, rising 1.5% as brokerages issued generally positive reviews of the companys resilience in the first half. Miners were also down. Among mining companies, Fortescue Metals Group dropped 2.4% despite reporting a tripling of its annual profit and a sharp increase in its final dividend. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were down 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively.

BlueScope Steel jumped 5.7% after it said its annual profit more than doubled thanks to cost cutting, increased sales and the benefit from an improvement in steel prices toward the end of its fiscal year.China Market falls on profit booking

Mainland China stock market finished in red terrain, as some investors took profits amid concern that a weaker yuan will limit prospects for further stimulus and state-backed funds will sell shares. Most of SSE sectors declined, with industrial, infrastructure and transportation shares leading losses. The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.84% to 3336.79 points. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.7% at 3084.81 points while the Shenzhen Composite index closed down 1.27% at 2018.26 points.

Shares of infrastructure and transportation sectors were among the top losers. The two sectors rose last week as state media reported that investment by Chinese firms into n++One Belt, One Roadn++ countries along the new Silk Road trade route has already reached $51.1 billion. Avic Capital Co. slumped 9.7%, while Avic Aircraft Co. fell 4.9%. Train maker CRRC Corp. slipped 2.4%. Beijing Originwater Technology, a designer and builder of sewage treatment plants, lost 5.9%. Offshore Oil Engineering Co. retreated 2.5% in Shanghai as crude fell in New York.

Bank shares gained in Shanghai before they release second-quarter earnings. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China rose 0.7%, while Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China both advanced 0.6%.

Hong Kong Market gains 0.26%

The Hong Kong stock market closed up in volatile trade, after the exchange operators launched a circuit breaker aimed at preventing extreme volatility. But gains were limited as investors sat on the fence before U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellens speech at a symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday. The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 60.69 points, or 0.26%, to 22997.91 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, dropped 3.52 points, or 0.04%, to 9602.65. Turnover decreased to HK$69.5 billion from HK$75.8 billion on Friday.

COLI (00688) announced its interim earnings during lunch break. Its net profit grew 20% to HK$19.7 billion, with an increase of dividend to 35 cents. But the share price softened 0.6% to HK$26.85. China Vanke (02202) gained 1.7% to HK$20.6 after it reported 10% earnings growth to Rmb5.35 billion.

CKI Holdings (01038) edged up 0.7% to HK$67.45 even though its bid for Australian power assets was rejected. CKH Holdings (00001) edged up 0.8% to HK$98.05.

Kunlun Energy (00135) slid 4% to HK$5.84 becoming the top blue-chip loser. Credit Suisse noted its operational incompetence and rated it underperform, with a lower target price of HK$4.8 (was HK$5.7).

Sensex hits 1-1/2-week closing low

Indian benchmark indices registered modest losses after the government named Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor Urjit Patel who is known as an inflation hawk as the new RBI governor to succeed Raghuram Rajan. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell 91.46 points or 0.33% to settle at 27,985.54. The Nifty fell 37.75 points or 0.44% to settle at 8,629.15.

Patel who handles the monetary policy department as the RBI deputy governor will take charge as the new RBI governor on 4 September 2016, the day when Rajans 3-year term as the RBI governor ends. Patels term is also for a 3 year period. By naming Patel who is a deputy governor at the central bank as the new RBI governor, the government is sending signal to markets that there will be continuity of central banks policies.

The government early this month notified consumer price inflation target of 4% with upper tolerance level of 6% and lower tolerance level of 2% to be achieved by RBI. This target is valid until 31 March 2021.

Stocks of most public sector banks edged lower and those of private sector banks witnessed a mixed trend after Patel was named new RBI governor. NTPC edged lower after the company announced uninspiring Q1 results. Sun TV Network dropped after the companys EBITDA margin declined 166 basis points in Q1 June 2016 over Q1 June 2015

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region: New Zealands NZX50 rose 0.8% to 7462. South Koreas KOSPI index declined 0.7% to 2042.16. Taiwans Taiex index fell 0.6% to 8981.81. Malaysias KLCI was up 0.2% to 1691.07. Singapores Straits Times index fell 0.1% to 2841.19. Indonesias Jakarta Composite index added 0.2% to 5427.17.

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ASX200 falls 0.21%
Aug 22,2016

Australian share market finished edged lower on Monday, 22 August 2016, following weak global market trend, as investors ponder the possibility the U.S. Federal Reserve is preparing for a rate increase. Shares of energy, materials and banks players led market decline. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index declined 11.60 points, or 0.21%, to 5515.10. The broader All Ordinaries dropped 13.10 points, or 0.23%, to 5612.30.

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China Market falls on profit booking
Aug 22,2016

Mainland China stock market finished in red terrain on Monday, 22 August 2016, as some investors took profits amid concern that a weaker yuan will limit prospects for further stimulus and state-backed funds will sell shares. Most of SSE sectors declined, with industrial, infrastructure and transportation shares leading losses. The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.84% to 3336.79 points. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.7% at 3084.81 points while the Shenzhen Composite index closed down 1.27% at 2018.26 points.

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Hong Kong Market gains 0.26%
Aug 22,2016

The Hong Kong stock market closed up in volatile trade on Monday, 22 August 2016, after the exchange operators launched a circuit breaker aimed at preventing extreme volatility. But gains were limited as investors sat on the fence before U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellens speech at a symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday. The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 60.69 points, or 0.26%, to 22997.91 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, dropped 3.52 points, or 0.04%, to 9602.65. Turnover decreased to HK$69.5 billion from HK$75.8 billion on Friday.

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US stocks ended lower on Friday
Aug 22,2016

U.S. stocks finished lower on Friday, 19 August 2016 as investors worried about whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sooner rather than later. The major averages ended a flat week on a similar note as early selling gave way to a partial rebound in afternoon action. Few catalysts and the expiration of August options contracts contributed to fairly lackluster moves during a week that has offered little guidance for investors about the Feds policy plans, following the release on Wednesday of minutes from the central banks July meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed off 45.13 points, or 0.2%, to 18,552.57. S&P 500 gave up 3.15 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 2,183.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.77 point, or less than 0.1%, at 5,238.38.

Equity indices began the day under moderate selling pressure as investors adjusted U.S. rate hike expectations and responded to a downturn in European markets. European bourses tilted to the downside as weakness in Italian banking names weighed on regional indices. Additionally, reports indicated that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May hopes to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by April 2017. The move would begin formal talks for the countrys withdrawal from the European Union.

Dow was pressured by a 2% decline in shares of Wal-Mart Stores.

The broader market marched off that level through the afternoon as heavily-weighted industrials, consumer discretionary and technology sector helped lead the rebound effort. Seven sectors ended in the red with defensively-oriented telecom services and utilities rounding out the leaderboard.

Fridays moves followed comments from San Francisco Fed President John Williams, who said late Thursday, that he would like to see another rate increase n++sooner rather than later,n++ suggesting he is in the camp of central-bank officials who would like a rate increase as soon as September. Earlier this week, New York Fed President William Dudley also hinted a September rate increase was possible, while Atlanta Fed boss, Dennis Lockhart, talked about n++at least onen++ more increase this year. Minutes from the Feds July meeting released Wednesday, however, showed an almost even split between supporters of another rate increase in the near-term and others who would wait for more confidence that inflation was stirring.

The influential technology space ended near the front of the pack as top-weighted Apple outperformed. The Dow component erased a 0.7% decline, ending higher by 0.3%. The early selling followed reports of a string of insider sales. Chipmakers led in the sector as Applied Materials jumped 7.1%. The semiconductor name topped bottom-line estimates for the quarter and raised its fourth-quarter outlook above consensus.

On the energy front, September West Texas Intermediate crude added 30 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $48.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, prices finished roughly 9.1%, and re-entered bull-market territory.

The U.S. Dollar Index ended off its session high as the greenback gained against the yen, euro, and pound. The dollar/yen pair ended higher by 0.3% while the single currency declined 0.2% against the buck.

The Treasury complex settled off session lows while yields gained across the curve. The yield on the 2-yr note rose five basis points (0.75%) while the yield on the 10-yr note ended at 1.58% (+4 bps).

Todays participation was above the recent average as more than 824 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

There was no economic data of note released on Friday and investors will not receive any economic data on Monday.

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Moderate gains for US stocks at Wall Street
Aug 19,2016

U.S. stocks ended almost on a flat note on Thursday, 18 August 2016. Indices logged a modest return in a trading session marked by relatively muted moves for the main benchmarks as investors pored over a batch of upbeat economic data and digested signs that the Federal Reserve remains divided about the timing of the next interest-rate hike. A rise in oil prices, which pushed West Texas Intermediate crude trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange , the U.S. benchmark, helped nudge energy stocks up.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 23.76 points, or 0.1%, at 18,597.70. The S&P 500 index was up 4.80 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,187.02. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.49 points, or 0.2%, at 5,240.15. The S&P 500 index was up 4.80 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,187.02.

Seven out of the S&P 500s 10 sectors finished in the green, with a decline in telecommunications, limiting the run-up in oil-and-gas stocks. Dow component Wal-Mart Stores was up 1.9%, giving the blue-chip gauge a lift, while a 1.2% slide in Caterpillar shares limited the benchmarks advance. Wal-Mart reported better-than-expected profit and revenues on Thursday.

Shares in Cisco Systems fell after the maker of networking equipment late Wednesday reported better-than-expected earnings and said that it plans to cut 5,500 jobs. Dow components Exxon Mobil and Chevron ended with gains of 0.9% and 1.3%, respectively.

Equity indices struggled for direction as investors continued to adjust rate hike expectations for the year. Yesterdays release of the FOMC minutes for July indicated that Fed officials were divided on whether or not an interest rate hike would be appropriate in coming months. Specifically, concerns about the sustainability of recent hiring trends and consistently weak inflation readings compelled some members to hold off on raising rates.

The stock market ended a range-bound day on a flat note as caution prevailed despite yesterdays dovish FOMC minutes from the July meeting. Equity indices struggled for direction as investors continued to adjust rate hike expectations for the year. Yesterdays release of the FOMC minutes for July indicated that Fed officials were divided on whether or not an interest rate hike would be appropriate in coming months. Specifically, concerns about the sustainability of recent hiring trends and consistently weak inflation readings compelled some members to hold off on raising rates. On Thursday, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said he would like to see another interest rate increase n++sooner rather than later.n++

Among other Fed speakers, New York Fed President William Dudley on Thursday was upbeat about the outlook for jobs and growth, adding that time for a rate increase n++is edging closer.n++ He spoke at a morning briefing for reporters at the regional Feds bank headquarters on Wall Street.

On the economic front, jobless claims last week fell by 4,000 to 262,000, representing a one-month low, and marking the 76th straight week that claims have been below 300,000. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphias barometer of regional manufacturing activity rebounded slightly into positive territory in August.

The Conference Board on Thursday said its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4% in July, signaling that moderate but steady growth could continue for the remainder of 2016.

Oil futures stretched their streak of gains to a sixth session in a row Thursday to settle at their highest level in nearly two monthsn++lifting crude into a bull market. September West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.43, or 3.1%, to settle at $48.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Data from the Energy Information Administration Wednesday showed weekly declines for both crude and gasoline inventories, prompting prices that day to settle higher for a fifth session.

Treasuries ended the day on a higher note as the short-end of the curve enjoyed a decent bid. The yield on the 2-yr note settled lower by two basis points (0.71%) while the yield on the benchmark 10-yr note slipped one basis point to 1.53%.

Todays participation was below the recent average as fewer than 737 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

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Minor gains at Wall Street
Aug 18,2016

U.S. stocks closed slightly higher on Wednesday, 17 AUgust 2016 after sharply paring earlier losses as minutes from the Federal Reserves July meeting showed policy makers remained divided on prospects for a near-term rate increase. Stocks bounced off session lows after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said that with U.S. growth trending below 2%, interest rates can stay low.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 21.92 points, or 0.1%, to close at 18,573.94, after being down as many as 83 points earlier in session. The Nasdaq Composite Index finished up 1.55 points at 5,228.66, after being down about 30 points earlier. The S&P 500 index rose 4.07 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,182.22 overcoming an earlier 10-point deficit.

Seven out of 10 sectors closed higher, led by gains in utilities and financial stocks. Tech, consumer-discretionary, and materials stocks closed lower.

Meanwhile, Cisco Systems shares dragged on the average, down 1.5%. Shares of 3M and Pfizer led gains.

Stocks ended the midweek affair on a flat note as market participants walked back recently-adjusted rate hike expectations for the year. The change in thinking followed some dovish remarks from St. Louis Fed President Bullard (an FOMC voter) and less hawkish-than-feared minutes from the FOMCs July meeting. Later, following a small pullback following the release of the Fed minutes, stocks had fluctuated between slight gains and losses after the minutes revealed that Fed officials were largely unchanged in their debate over interest rate hikes.The Fed minutes for July also helped to brush away lingering rate hike angst. The minutes indicated that the Federal Open Market Committee was split on whether or not an interest rate hike would be appropriate in the coming months. The committee agreed that economic data and labor markets had improved, but the sustainability of hiring and inflation continuing to run below the two percent objective worried some members. Several members said they preferred to defer another increase in the fed funds rate until they were more confident that inflation was moving closer to two percent on a sustained basis.

The market shifted gears shortly after midday as reports indicated that German Chancellor Merkel signaled that there would be some scope for tax cuts in the Germanys next legislative session. That headline seemed to stoke some risk appetite as investors eyed potential fiscal stimulus measures, which have been lacking in the midst of very aggressive monetary policy accommodations.

With no significant changes in economic activity, some risks from the U.K.s vote to leave the European Union, and low inflation, the Fed is still very much divided over the subject of raising interest rates while leaving the door open for a possible rate hike this year.

Wednesdays stock moves come after the three main benchmarks closed lower on Tuesday, amid warnings that an interest-rate rise could come as soon as September, which helped drag stocks off their all-time highs. Todays economic data included the weekly MBA Mortgage Index: The MBA Mortgage Index showed that mortgage applications fell 4.0% in the week ending August 13 after a 7.1% increase in the prior week.

The dollar rose after those remarks and climbed early Wednesday, but shifted lower after the Fed minutes. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was down fractionally at 94.78.

Oil prices settled 0.5% higher at $46.79 a barrel after the Fed minutes even as hopes for a production-freeze agreement started to fade.

Gold futures slipped from their two-week high, settling 0.6% lower at $1,348.80 an ounce.

Treasuries ended the day on a higher note, enjoying a decent bid across the complex. The yield on the 10-yr note slipped two basis points to 1.55%.

Todays participation was below the recent average as fewer than 766 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Tomorrows economic data will include weekly initial claims (consensus 265k) and the Philadelphia Fed Survey for August (consensus 0.5), which will each be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Leading Indicators report for July (consensus 0.4%) will conclude the days data, crossing the wires at 10:00 a.m. ET.

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