US Stocks Decline as Housing Data Disappoints

Only last week, the benchmark gauge of US, Standard & Poor’s 500 Index experienced a jump that marked its highest figure in last 5 years. However, today, the stock index experienced a decline as the sales of existing homes fell down in December, quite unexpectedly. Apart from that, the investors also weighed the corporate earnings reports highly.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index went down by 0.2% and the same is at 1482.67 currently. On the other hand, the Dow Jones Industrial Average also declined by 0.1% and is at 13,632.90 now. If the overall trading volume in the S&P 500 listed companies are concerned, it was 7.8% more, when it comes to the last 30-day average. Incidentally, yesterday, the US markets were closed because of a holiday.

According to the Chief Investment Officer of Stewart Capital Advisors LLC, Malcolm Polley, the earnings through the stocks will be low in the first quarter of the New Year as the economy will not show huge signs of growth either. Malcolm added that there are fiscal issues which are yet to be dealt with and in future, it is to be seen that how the US Government will fare in handling those.

The National Association of Realtors published a report today stating that the sales of existing homes in US have gone down by 1% to 4.94 million annual rate in December. The sales were expected to increase to 5.1 million annual rate, however, the actual results were disappointing. Still the overall sales figure is the 2nd highest since November, 2009.

The biggest health care products maker in the world, Johnson & Johnson shares experienced a decline of 0.8% as the full year forecast of the company was less than what was estimated by the analysts. Incidentally, right on this week, the company will be publishing its quarterly earnings, joining Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold and 15 other companies.

Boeing Co., on the other hand fell down by 1.5%. Incidentally, the company has decided to suspend 787 delivery as it is working to meet the directive of US Federal Aviation Administration to make sure that the batteries made of lithium-iron are safe to use.

The largest manufacturer of mining and construction equipment in the world, Caterpillar Inc. also slid down by 1.3% as the 4th quarter earnings of the company are expected to go down.