Europe weighs on Wall St but banks rise

NEW YORK Thu Jan 5, 2012 11:32pm IST

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange January 4, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange January 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell slightly on European debt worries on Thursday, but technology and financial shares rose on data pointing to a strengthening U.S. economy.

Financial shares were the day's top gainers in volatile trading on Wall Street. At the same time, Europe's bank stocks fell on worries over their ability to raise capital amid a sovereign debt crisis.

Data signaled improvement in the U.S. labor market. More than twice the expected number of private sector jobs were added in December while initial jobless claims dropped 15,000 in the latest week. In addition, the pace of U.S. services growth quickened more than expected in December.

"The idea from the data is that our economy is picking up, so for banks, they'll start to see some loan growth, which will feed into their profits," said James Dunigan, chief investment officer at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia.

"That's different than concerns about capital and stability in Europe, which the region is still dealing with," added Dunigan, who helps oversee $105 billion.

European banks fell 3.2 pct while the KBW Banks index rose 1.2 percent. Bank of America Corp advanced 5.3 percent to $6.12.

Despite solid demand for a French government debt sale, investors fretted about more fragile economies, such as Italy and Spain. The euro, which has been closely correlated to global equities, fell to a 15-month low against the dollar on Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 42.23 points, or 0.34 percent, at 12,376.19. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 1.48 points, or 0.12 percent, at 1,275.82. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 7.20 points, or 0.27 percent, at 2,655.56.

The Nasdaq was boosted by strength in tech shares. Marvell Technology Group (MRVL.O) gained 5.4 percent to $14.95 while Seagate Technology was up 5.4 percent to $17.72.

The S&P retail index fell 0.6 percent as December sales rose, though discounts cut into profits over the holiday shopping season. Target Corp fell 3.5 percent to $48.26 while Macy's Inc (M.N) added 1.9 percent to $33.27.

Dendreon Corp DNDN.O shares jumped 41.5 percent to $10.76 after the biotechnology company reported a more than three-fold jump in revenue of its prostate cancer vaccine.

But bookstore owner Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N) shares fell 24.4 percent to $10.21 after the company said it is considering splitting off its Nook electronic reader business and also cut its full-year earnings forecast.

(Reporting By Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

FILED UNDER:

"India's Daughter"

Reuters Showcase

Microfinance

Microfinance

Funding the unfunded: India helps small business borrow to grow  Full Article 

Insurance Sector

Insurance Sector

UK healthcare firm Bupa sees strong growth in India  Full Article 

Sensex Rises

Sensex Rises

Sensex edges up; consumer and healthcare stocks rise  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

FTSE adds nine Indian firms as large-caps in Asia-Pacific ex-Japan index   Full Article 

Indian Ocean Diplomacy

Indian Ocean Diplomacy

PM Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence  Full Article 

ECB Bond-Buying

ECB Bond-Buying

ECB raises growth forecasts, to start printing money next week  Full Article 

China Economy

China Economy

China signals "new normal" with lower annual growth target  Full Article 

Pharma Sector

Pharma Sector

Panel recommends waiving late-stage trials for some drugs  Full Article 

E-commerce

E-commerce

China backs e-commerce expansion in win for Alibaba, JD.com  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage