US stocks end flat as rally fizzles out

Oct 12 2012 07:39

New York - US stocks closed little changed on Thursday after a solid rally sparked by surprisingly good data on weekly jobless claims fizzled out, in part due to questions over the figures.

Trading action focused on Sprint Nextel, whose shares soared 14.3% to $5.76 on news that the third largest US wireless carrier was in talks to be bought by Japan's Softbank.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 18.58 points, at 13,326.39.

The S&P 500 gained 0.28 to 1,432.84, while the tech-rich Nasdaq lost 2.37 points to 3,049.41.

The market jumped from the opening after the Labour Department reported that weekly new claims for unemployment insurance fell sharply to their lowest in four and a half years, a good sign for the ailing US jobs market.

But later suggestions that the data might be somewhat incomplete helped take the air out of the rally.

Turnover was heavy in Sprint shares, which got a boost from reports that Japanese cell carrier Softbank was in talks to take it over, a move that could boost its ability to compete against powerful US market leaders Verizon and AT&T.

Sprint gave no details of the deal under discussion, only confirming that it involved "a potential substantial investment by Softbank in Sprint" that "could involve a change of control of Sprint."

Shares in other US carriers fell: Verizon lost 1.3%, AT&T 1.8%, and smaller rival MetroPCS, being taken over by T-Mobile, lost 3.3%.

Fedex gained 1.8% after it unveiled a sweeping global cost-cutting programme to deal with slowing world growth, including "several thousand" voluntary job cuts.

Boeing rose 1.4% after announcing a $5bn deal to sell 50 737 single-aisle jetliners to Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Air shares were flat.

On the Nasdaq, Apple lost 2%, and Dollar Tree fell 7.7%, traders giving the thumbs-down on its growth plans.

US bond prices gained. The 10-year Treasury yield was flat at 1.68%, while the 30-year yield fell to 2.86% from 2.88%.

Bond prices move inversely to yields.

* Follow Fin24 on Twitter and Facebook

wall street  |  markets



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're Talking About...

Savings Month

It's never too late to start saving. Visit our special issue and add your voice.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

Social media is giving SA consumers the power to discipline corporations corporations

Previous results · Suggest a vote