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Midday Market Update

Stocks Higher After Data

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U.S. Market    
Stocks were higher this morning after economic data.

Initial unemployment claims rose 13,000 to 336,000 last week. Economists had expected claims to come in at 333,000. The less volatile four-week moving average dropped by 2,250 to 330,500, the lowest level since 2007. 

The Markit Flash PMI rose to 53.9 in August from 53.7 at the end of July, the highest level since March. The index measures the health of the manufacturing sector and any reading over 50 indicates expansion. 

At midday the DowS&P 500 and Nasdaq were up 0.4%, 0.7% and 0.9% respectively. 

Stocks on the Move
Shares of  Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) fell over 12% after the firm reported  disappointing fiscal third-quarter results late Wednesday. Company revenue fell 1% sequentially, to $27.2 billion, as each of HP's four key segments remains challenged. PC and printer-related revenue fell 1% sequentially to $13.5 billion. Enterprise service revenue grew 3% sequentially, to $5.8 billion, while segment operating margin improved to 3.3% on better cost control and account management. Revenue for the enterprise group, which consists of servers, storage, networking, and related maintenance services, fell 1% sequentially, to $6.8 billion.

 Sears Holdings (SHLD) reported this morning that its fiscal second-quarter loss widened to $1.83 a share from $1.25 in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 6.3% to $8.87 billion as same-store sales in the U.S. dropped 1.5%.  Gross margin shrunk to 24.6% from 26.7%. Shares fell nearly 8% on the report.

Foreign Markets
European markets were higher on the day after encouraging economic data. In late trading, the FTSE 100, Paris CAC and Germany’s DAX were up 0.7%, 1.1% and 1.4% respectively. 

Asian shares were mixed today. The Shanghai Composite was down 0.3%, the Nikkei 225 was off 0.4% while the Hang Seng was 0.4% higher. 

Jeremy Glaser does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.