9.28.12- SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks pared their losses Friday, finding some support after stress-test results showed that Spain’s banks are mostly solvent, but seeing continued pressure after U.S. data showed a contraction in manufacturing activity in the Chicago area.
Results from Spain’s bank stress test show that banks are mostly solvent and viable and need 59.3 billion euros ($76.3 billion) in capital, in line with expectations.
“Stocks celebrated the uncertainty over the Spanish bank stress test, rebounding strongly off their lows,” said Keith Springer, president of Springer Financial Advisors in Sacramento, Calif. Although the banks’s shortfall in capital “is no picnic, it is far better than the worst estimates and what the market feared.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/zigman/627449 DJIA -0.38% fell 56.56 points, or 0.4%, to 13,430.41, paring some of its losses after a low at 13,367.27, with 25 of its 30 components in the red. McDonald’s Corp. /quotes/zigman/233369/quotes/nls/mcd MCD -2.04% led decliners after Janney Montgomery Scott LLC lowered its view of the fast-food chain.
For the quarter, the index was headed for a 4.3% gain, up 2.6% for the month, but down 1.1% for the week.
Sweeping changes planned for Libor
Plans for large-scale changes to the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, have been announced in the U.K. Photo: Reuters
The S&P 500 index /quotes/zigman/3870025 SPX -0.42% lost 5.78 points, or 0.4%, to 1,441.31, with materials and energy slammed the hardest among its 10 large sectors. The benchmark index traded around 5.9% higher for the quarter, up 2.5% for the month, and down 1.8% for the week.
The Nasdaq Composite /quotes/zigman/123127 COMP -0.47% fell 13.25 points, or 0.4%, to 3,123.34, trading 6.4% higher for the quarter. For the month, it was up 1.8%, but down 1.8% from a week ago.
Shares of Nike Inc. /quotes/zigman/235840/quotes/nls/nke NKE -0.69% fell after the athletic retailer reported future orders missed Wall Street’s estimates of reduced demand in China. See: Nike profit falls on weaker margins, rising costs.
Consumer spending continues to rise.
Research In Motion Ltd. /quotes/zigman/18534/quotes/nls/rimm RIMM +8.82% shares climbed after the BlackBerry maker reported less of a loss that analysts had projected. See: BlackBerry sales give RIM surprise boost.
Economic reports already out had consumer spending rising 0.5% and income up 0.1% in August, largely in line with Wall Street’s estimates. See: U.S. consumer spending jumps in August.
A regional measure of business activity from the Chicago Federal Reserve showed contraction in September, illustrating the recent slowdown seen in the manufacturing sector.
“What we’re seeing here, particularly in the Midwest, is a weakness in autos and all the things that go into them, like primary metals,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.
“We had a heck of a good quarter and month for stocks beyond what anyone thought,” said Hoffman, who finds the market’s recent declines not a surprise given the overall gains. “So now we’re having a step backward as some of the QE3-inspired gains dissipate.”
A gauge of consumer sentiment rose to 78.3 for a final September reading from 74.3 in August, according to data on the University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment gauge released Friday. See: Consumer sentiment highest in four months.