• Grain pain

    Corn crops could break records this year, but for farmers the bounty has a dark side.

  • Node joins TV revolution

    The movie-on-demand business has a new contender, says Arthur Goldstuck.

  • SA market needs Nokia

    A user says the brand should stay as it has great offerings at reasonable prices.

Loading...
See More

Wall St closes dire month with a whimper

Jun 01 2012 08:03 Reuters

Related Articles

US stocks tank on Spain fears

Dow rises but Nasdaq in the red

Wall St ends flat in late-day reversal

Wall St ends flat after late volatility

US markets break losing streak

US stocks add 1%, Facebook plunges

 

New York - US stocks fell modestly on Thursday to close out the worst month since September as investor sentiment sank on Europe's deepening credit problems.

The broad S&P 500 index fell 6.3% in May, its largest percentage drop since September. The Dow's 6.2% drop and Nasdaq's 7.2% loss are their largest monthly declines in two years.

Spain was at the center of the latest European developments as markets judged Madrid's government would sooner or later have to ask for outside help for its banks. A report, later denied, of possible plans to assist Spain with its troubled banks helped Wall Street nearly erase losses of 1% in the afternoon.

Market participants cited month-end rebalancing as also supporting stocks due to money managers buying more shares to make up for the declining value of equities during May.

However, the continuing worry over Europe and a batch of disappointing US economic figures weighed on the market. Jobless claims rose for the seventh week in eight, putting investors on edge before Friday's US monthly payrolls report.

"Europe is the main issue, no question about it, but you have a supporting cast from the US data," said Paul Zemsky, head of asset allocation at ING Investment Management in New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 26.41 points, to 12,393.45. The S&P 500 Index fell 2.99 points, to 1,310.33. The Nasdaq Composite lost 10.02 points, to 2,827.34.

Shares of US Steel dropped 5.1% to $20.30 and Cliffs Natural Resources fell 6.1% to $47.78 as energy and materials company shares led declines on the S&P 500.

Commodity prices fell with the euro at 23-month lows against the US dollar. The greenback weakened sharply versus the yen, a sign that investors were moving money into perceived safe havens.

Private payroll growth accelerated only slightly last month and claims for jobless benefits rose last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was stalling.

A disappointing number in Friday's report would further damp market sentiment, but it could also bring back talk of further stimulus by the US Federal Reserve.

Shares of TJX Cos rose 2.7% to $42.46 after the low-price retailer was among those to report sales at stores open at least a year that beat Wall Street forecasts.

Ciena Corp climbed 14.1% to $13.55 after the network equipment company posted a surprise second-quarter adjusted profit.

Joy Global slumped 5.1% to $55.86 after the mining equipment maker cut forecasts.

Facebook shares hit a fresh intraday low of $26.83 before bouncing back to close up 5% at $29.60. The social networking company has fallen in six of its nine trading sessions.

In other data, the Commerce Department said first-quarter economic growth in the United States was slightly slower than initially thought and the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer fell in April to its lowest level since September 2009.

Almost 8 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and Amex, sharply above the daily average of 6.83 billion so far this year.

Declining issues beat advancing issues on the NYSE by 1552 to 1430 while on the Nasdaq 13 issues fell for every 12 that rose.

wall street  |  markets
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Small Business

New forms of digital technology are changing the very ways in which entrepreneurs run their businesses.
 
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Money Clinic

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