The S&P 500 Index fluctuated, after paring an earlier decline, as concerns over Argentina and Portugal offset data that signaled the Federal Reserve may have some cause to keep interest rates low.
By Paolo Palazzi-Xirinachs
Friday, August 1, 2014
The markets seem weary after US stocks joined a global selloff yesterday, sending the S&P 500 to its first monthly decline since January 2014, and after companies from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Samsung Electronics Co. reported results that disappointed investors. Argentina’s default and Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo SA being ordered to raise capital.
As a result of today’s concerns, the S&P 500 fell 0.1% to 1,928.07 at 3:30 PM. in New York, after tumbling 0.7% earlier in the day. The index plunged 2% yesterday, and is poised for a 2.6% drop for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 39.62 points, or 0.2%, to 16,523.68, after erasing its gains for the year yesterday.
Stocks fluctuated earlier in the day as data showed employers in the US added more than 200K jobs for a sixth straight month in July, the longest such period since 1997. The 209K advance fell short of the 230K increase forecast by economists. The jobless rate climbed to 6.2% from 6.1% in June as more people entered the labor force. Wages and hours were unchanged from June.
Argentina’s failure to pay interest on its bonds is a credit event that will trigger settlement of $1 billion of default insurance, according to the International Swaps & Derivatives Association. Argentina is the first nation to trigger default swaps since Greece restructured its debt in 2012.
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