December 4, 2013
Wall Street gains modestly after data; BlackBerry plummets
US stocks edged modestly higher today in the wake of data showing that business spending dropped sharply in September and amid uncertainty over how soon the Federal Reserve would be comfortable enough with growth to begin scaling back stimulus.
US-listed shares of Blackberry tumbled 10 percent to $6.99 after the smartphone maker said it was abandoning a plan to sell itself and instead, would replace its chief executive officer.
The benchmark S&P index has risen 4.3 percent over the prior four weeks as the partial US government shutdown in October pushed back expectations for the Federal Reserve to begin curtailing its stimulus measures into the first quarter of 2014.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 7.18 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,622.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 3.87 points, or 0.22 percent, at 1,765.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 8.70 points, or 0.22 percent, at 3,930.74.
Increased prospects of a European Central Bank interest rate cut this year sent the euro to a six-week low today and boosted the region's share markets, which extended gains on robust manufacturing data.
A plunge in the currency bloc's inflation to well below the ECB's target level and pressure on money market rates hardened expectations last week for a shift in ECB policy and look set to support prices until the central bank meets on Thursday.
"Clearly market expectations turned recently in favor of a potential (ECB) rate cut, probably not this week but there's a high probability it could be delivered in December," said Patrick Jacq, a strategist at BNP Paribas in Paris.
Europe's broad FSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.4 percent in early deals to be back near last-week's five-year high. The index is up about 14 percent this year.