NEW YORK, NY – (April 7, 2011) Clearlease.com Reports Stocks are showing a lack of direction in early trading on Thursday, as traders weigh a drop in weekly jobless claims against an interest rate hike in Europe. The choppy trading extends a recent trend, which has come amid well below average trading activity.
While the Labor Department released a report before the start of trading showing a bigger than expected drop in jobless claims in the week ended April 2nd, any buying interest generated by the report has been offset by news of an interest rate hike by the European Central Bank.
The Labor Department report showed that initial jobless claims fell by 10,000 to 382,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 392,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to slip to 385,000 from the 388,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak, said, “Bottom line, the labor market continues to improve but with the pace never fast enough.”
At the same time, traders are also digesting news of an interest rate hike in Europe, with the European Central Bank raising rates by a quarter point to 1.25 percent. The rate hike, which was widely expected, marks the first increase in rates since July of 2008.
ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said in a statement that the rate hike was warranted in the light of upside risks to price stability.
In other news out of Europe, Portugal finally had to seek a financial bailout from the European Union after funding costs skyrocketed in recent bond auctions. In response, the EU promised to swiftly process the loan request.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves in early trading, although moderate strength has emerged among gold, health insurance, and brokerage stocks. On the other hand, real estate and utilities stocks are seeing early weakness.
Among individual stocks, shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) are moving sharply higher after the retailer reported fourth quarter earnings of $1.12 per share on sales of $2.51 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $0.97 per share on sales of $2.39 billion.
Drugstore chain operator Rite Aid (RAD) is also seeing early strength after it reported a slightly narrower fourth quarter loss compared to the same period a year ago. The company also forecast stronger than expected revenues for fiscal 2012.
The major averages have ticked to the upside in the past few minutes, with the Nasdaq moving firmly into positive territory. The Nasdaq is up 10.42 points or 0.4 percent at 2,810.24, while the Dow is up 0.79 points or less than 0.1 percent at 12,427.54 and the S&P 500 is up 2.09 points or 0.2 percent at 1,337.63.
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Dominion Lending Centres Clearlease Commercial (DLC Clearlease/Clearlease.com) is a fully diversified Lease Finance Mortgage Banking Brokerage Company specializing in Equipment Leasing, Automobile Leasing, Residential, Commercial Lending/Mortgage Financing. DLC Clearlease possesses the capability to accommodate financing needs ranging from a small second Home Mortgage to a Multi-Million Dollar Commercial Projects. No mortgage is too small or too large for this integrated Company.
Headquartered in Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. We’re expanding in Q2, 2011 to Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta! In Q3, 2011 we are expanding in Toronto, Ontario! Dominion Lending Centres Clearlease services clients from Coast to Coast. Our Residential Group has a team of Licensed Mortgage Brokers offering our clients the best terms and rates available in the current market. Our Commercial Funding/Mortgage Group is active across Canada Funding Mortgages in cities such as Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria.
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