U.S. Stocks Slip From Eight-Week High Amid Data Before Payrolls

U.S. stocks slipped, with a three-week equity rally leveling off amid mixed data before Friday’s payrolls report that may provide a clearer picture on the strength of the economy and path for interest rates.

Investors were showing tempered enthusiasm for shares that have paced the recent rebound, with banks little changed while consumer and technology shares declined. Health-care and tech were the biggest drags as Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co. lost more than 1.2 percent, while Microsoft Corp. dropped 1.8 percent. Kroger Co. sank 8.9 percent to weigh on consumer staples after the grocer forecast slower growth this year. Energy producers advanced for a third day.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.4 percent to 1,978.93 at 11:54 a.m. in New York, after rising Wednesday for a second day to hold at an eight-week high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 59.82 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,839.50, and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.5 percent. The Russell 2000 Index of small caps added 0.3 percent to rise for a third day. Trading in S&P 500 shares was 9 percent below the 30-day average for this time of day.

Source: Bloomberg

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Futures Little Changed After S&P 500 Climbs to Eight-Week High

U.S. index futures were little changed after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index capped its biggest two-day gain in two weeks.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. slid 3.7 percent in premarket trading after saying company group chairman and head of U.S. dermatology products Deb Jorn resigned effective immediately. Intel Corp. rose 1.8 percent after Robert W. Baird & Co. recommended buying the shares.

S&P 500 Index contracts expiring in March added 0.1 percent to 1,985 at 10:44 a.m. in London. Equities pressed higher in the final hour of trading yesterday, after swinging between gains and losses for most of the session. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were also little changed today, trading at 16,887.

Source : Bloomberg

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