Tuesday, October 2, 2012

World stocks start new quarter on a positive note – GE, IBM, BIDU, TRV, NFLX, Sprint Nextel

An expansion in U.S. manufacturing in September for the first time since May helped world stocks start the new quarter on a strong note on Monday.

Though stocks came off their mid-day highs where they had risen by more than a percent, major indices ended on a positive note, with the exception of the Nasdaq.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average(INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose 77.98 points, or 0.58 percent, to 13,515.11 at the close. The S&P 500(INDEXSP:.INX ) advanced 3.82 points, or 0.27 percent, at 1,444.49. NASDAQ Composite(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) dipped 2.70 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 3,113.53.

The unexpected uptick in U.S. Manufacturing data was helped by new orders and a pick-up in employment, according to a report by the Institute for Supply Management.

Analysts however said that the market had rallied for a long time and it was due for a correction. The earnings season ahead was expected to induce volatility in the markets.

Among stocks weighing on the Nasdaq, Apple lost 1.2 percent to $659.39, dragging the tech-heavy index lower.

Baidu.com, Inc. (ADR)(NASDAQ:BIDU) shares fell 3.5 percent to $112.77 after Jefferies cut the stock to "hold" from "buy" and lowered the price target to $125 from $135.

A number of blue-chip stocks hit 52-week highs, helping the Dow outperform the broader market.

Shares of General Electric Company(NYSE:GE) rose 0.4 percent to $22.81, after rising as high as $22.99 earlier. International Business Machines Corp.(NYSE:IBM) also hit a new 52-week high at $211.75 and The Travelers Companies, Inc.(NYSE:TRV) rose as high as $69.48 earlier in the session. IBM shares closed up 1.5 percent at $210.47. The Travelers shares gained 1.2 percent to $69.07.

While, Sprint Nextel Corporation(NYSE:S) shares hammered down by over 6% to $5.18, selling off after the recent strength.

Netflix, Inc.(NASDAQ:NFLX) jumped 3% after the company has made an addition to its offerings – The “Just for Kids” section on its web interface, set-top boxes, and gaming consoles. 

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