Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stocks wait for U.S. Presidential elections for direction – BTU, CLWR, AONE

Equity markets are waiting for the U.S. presidential elections as the next driver of sentiments. At present they are just drifting around without any noticeable direction.

While earnings have not been too bad, they have been nothing to write home about too, especially the technology sector which is reporting weak quarterly results.

U.S. stocks, which were lacklustre in early trades, managed a brief rally towards the fag end of the trading day to eke out marginal gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose 2.38 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 13345.89. The blue-chip benchmark rebounded from losses of as much as 108 points, following a 205-point drop on Friday.

The S&P 500(INDEXSP:.INX) tacked on 0.62 point, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1433.81. Technology shares led gains across four of the index's 10 sectors.

The NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose 11.34 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3016.96.

Analysts said that the markets are showing remarkable resilience in still hanging on to the current levels, since there are no obvious drivers for any positive sentiments.

Peabody Energy Corporation(NYSE:BTU) jumped 12 percent, leading the S&P 500, after the coal miner gave a current-year forecast that topped analysts' projections.

The shares bucked selling among energy stocks as front-month natural gas futures fell 4.6 percent to settle at $3.45 and crude-oil futures dropped 1.5 percent to settle at $88.73.

The U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world have stepped up efforts in recent months to bolster the economy by buying bonds, helping keep returns for such assets at historic lows. On Monday, the price of the benchmark U.S. Treasury note fell, pushing the yield up to 1.81 percent.

European markets slipped. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.4 percent as investors digested U.S. corporate results and a meeting of European Union leaders last week about the formation of a banking supervisor for the region.

Clearwire Corporation(NASDAQ:CLWR) bounced back 5% to $1.94 after tumbling 20% in the past one week on several developments with Sprint.

Cell Therapeutics Inc(NASDAQ:CTIC) ended higher by 4% to $1.56.

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