U.S. stocks trim drop on Spain’s bank tests
9.28.12- NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks trimmed Friday losses after stress tests found Spain’s banks to be mostly solvent, with Wall Street on pace for monthly and quarterly gains.
“We had a heck of a good quarter and month for stocks beyond what anyone thought,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group. “So now we’re having a step backward as some of the QE3-inspired gains dissipate.”
“From a market perspective and a level to watch on this last day of the quarter that we are touching, 1,436.56 was the close on Sept 12,” the day before the Federal Reserve announced its third round of quantitative easing, Peter Boockvar, equity strategist wrote in an email.
After sliding as low as 1,435.58, the S&P 500 index (SNC:SPX) lost 4.43 points, or 0.3%, to 1,442.72, with materials and technology hit hardest and utilities the sole sector gaining among its 10 major industry groups. The index was up 6% for the quarter and 2.6% for September.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI:DJIA) fell 32.50 points, or 0.2%, to 13,453.47, with 24 of its 30 components in the red. McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD) led decliners after Janney Montgomery Scott LLC lowered its view of the fast-food chain.
For the quarter, the index was headed for a 4.4% gain; for the month a 2.7% rise.
The Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ:COMP) fell 13.60 points, or 0.4%, to 3,122.96, up 6.4% for the quarter and 1.9% for the month.
Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:RIMM) shares climbed 7.4% after the BlackBerry maker reported less of a loss that analysts had projected. See: BlackBerry sales give RIM surprise boost.
Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) rallied a day after the consulting giant hiked its yearly earnings outlook.
For every three stocks rising, four fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 320 million shares had traded by 2:25 p.m. Eastern. Composite volume nearing 2 billion.
Spanish stress tests determined the country’s banks have a combined capital shortfall of 59.3 billion euros.
The gap, while “no picnic, is far better than the worst estimates and what the market feared,” said Keith Springer, president of Springer Financial Advisors in Sacramento, Calif.
Economic reports 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.
The Institute for Supply Management’s Chicago business measure declined to 49.7 in September from 53 in August.
“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 Hoffman at PNC Financial Services Group.
Consumer confidence in September rose to a four month high. See: Consumer sentiment story.