Dow Crosses 14,000 For First Time Since 2007
February 1, 2013
Exxon Mobil Corp. was little changed after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that topped estimates. Earnings per share beat the average analyst estimate at some 73 percent of 254 companies in the index that have released results so far in the reporting season, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of U.S. consumer sentiment for January rose to 73.8 from 72.9 at the end of the previous month. Economists projected 71.5 for the gauge after a preliminary January reading of 71.3, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. The index averaged 64.2 during the last recession and 89 in the five years before the 18-month economic slump that ended in June 2009.
The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index climbed to 53.1 last month from December’s 50.2, exceeding the highest estimate in a survey of 86 economists with a median forecast of 50.7.
Two-year Treasury yields fell less than one basis point to 0.26 percent, while 30-year rates rose three basis points to 3.20 percent.
Bonds pared gains after Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard, an advocate for slowing stimulus, said U.S. job growth in the past three months has been “an encouraging sign.” Bullard said he may urge cutting the pace of central bank asset purchases by the middle of the year if growth picks up as he expects.
‘Tapering or Adjusting’
“We should think about tapering or adjusting the program,” Bullard said today in an interview in Washington. “If you get some good data for a couple of months,” then policy makers might say, “OK, we go to $75 billion or something like that,” he said, referring to monthly asset purchases that currently run at $85 billion a month.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.3 percent, trimming this week’s drop to 0.5 percent. The gauge climbed in January, capping an eighth month of gains and the longest winning streak since 1997. BT Group Plc rallied 6.5 percent as the U.K’s largest Internet service provider reported profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates. The regional benchmark pared gains earlier while German two-year notes rose after the European Central Bank said banks will repay 3.5 billion euros ($4.8 billion) of its emergency loans next week.
Spain’s IBEX 35 slipped 1.6 percent as the market regulator, known as CNMV, allowed a ban on short-selling stocks to expire yesterday. Banco Santander SA, Spain’s largest bank, fell 2.3 percent and Fomento de Construcciones & Contratas SA slid 9.1 percent.
About $2.6 trillion was added to the value of equities worldwide last month as earnings from companies including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. beat estimates and U.S. lawmakers forged a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax increases. Including dividends, the S&P 500 rallied 5.2 percent last month for its best January return since 1997.
The yen weakened for a third straight day against the dollar, headed for a 12th consecutive weekly decline. It depreciated as much as 0.9 percent to 92.65 per dollar, the lowest level since June 2010. Japan’s jobless rate rose and household spending declined, data showed today, underscoring the case for further easing.