Continued unrest in Egypt, new political worries in Portugal, and a series of downgrades to major European banks by Standard & Poor’s set the stage for early losses on U.S markets before a late-day rally.
The rally came in the wake of continued upbeat reports on the U.S. economy sent investors home ahead of the Fourth of July holiday with broad gains. By day’s end the Dow Industrial Average finished higher by 0.38% to close at 14988.55, while the Nasdaq moved ahead 0.30% to finish at 3443.67. The S&P 500 ended up 0.08% at 1615.41.
The U.S. economy continues to show gains, as ADP’s monthly figures on private-sector payrolls showed businesses added 188,000 jobs — well ahead of the 134,000 added in May. Meanwhile a Labor Department report showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 5,000, while the 4-week moving average of new claims fell by 750. Investors will get to digest the news ahead of Friday’s employment report.
The banking sector took a slight hit after S&P downgraded European based Credit Suisse (CS), Barclays (BCS) and Deutsche Bank (DB) on portfolio concerns. CS took the worst of it, falling a little more than 1%. U.S. banks facing new capital requirements also saw losses on the day, with Citigroup (C) taking the biggest haircut (-1%).
Time Warner Cable (TWC) gained more than 2% after insiders told Bloomberg that Apple (AAPL) is close to signing an agreement to allow the cable company to broadcast content on Apple’s set-top boxes. Apple, which is up about 5% in the last 5 days, gained fractionally on the news.
Finally, the bottom is still not within sight for Blackberry (BBRY) which rallied to end the day with roughly a 1% loss, completing a 5-day trading cycle in which it lost nearly 30% of value.
- Glu Mobile (GLUU): Up 11.2% (26 cents) to $2.58.
- Rackspace (RAX): Up 5.6% ($2.13) to $40.21.
- Zynga (ZNGA): Up 4.6% (15 cents) to $3.42.
- Linn Energy (LINE): Down 15.8% ($4.26) to $22.79.
- National Bank of Greece (NBG): Down 5.2% (16 cents) to $2.91.
- U.S. Steel (X): Down 5.6% ($1.07 cents) to $18.18.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he is long AAPL and hopes everyone enjoys a great Fourth of July.