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Friday, January 30, 2015

Wall St closes down for January; Shake Shack rallies in debut

US stocks closed down today after a volatile session as investors worried at the end of a rough month for the market about weak US growth data and whether instability in Europe could hurt corporate earnings in the United States.

US economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as weak business spending and a wider trade deficit offset the fastest pace of consumer spending since 2006.

This came after Greece's finance minister said the government would not cooperate with the European Union and International Monetary Fund mission.

A brief afternoon rally from rising oil prices failed to stick as investors, nervous about US and global economies, fled to bonds from equities and even sold off utilities stocks, the worst performing sector on the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 251.9 points, or 1.45 percent, to 17,164.95, the S&P 500 lost 26.26 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,994.99 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 48.17 points, or 1.03 percent, to 4,635.24.

The S&P energy sector was the only one to finish up today with a 0.74 percent increase after falling as much as 1.5 percent earlier in the session. It rebounded when crude futures rose 8 percent after a survey showed the biggest decline since 1987 in the number of rigs drilling for US oil.

For the week, the Dow and S&P were each down 2.8 percent, and the Nasdaq fell 2.6 percent. For January, the Dow was down 3.6 percent and the Nasdaq was off 2.1 percent.

The S&P fell 3.1 percent in January, which was its biggest monthly loss since January 2014 and its first back-to-back monthly decline since April-May 2012.

In contrast to the broader market, shares of burger restaurant Shake Shack rose more than 118.6 percent in their market debut.

NYSE declining issues outnumbered advancers 2,107 to 991, for a 2.13-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 2,040 issues fell and 691 advanced, for a 2.95-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 posted 18 new 52-week highs and 15 lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 43 new highs and 86 new lows.

European stocks dipped today, with Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena skidding 6.5 percent after sources said a planned capital increase at the lender might be bigger than expected.

The troubled Italian bank is considering raising the size of its capital hike to around 3.5 billion euros ($4 billion), one billion euros more than initially planned, the sources said.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended down 0.6 percent for the day, but rose 7.1 percent in January, its biggest monthly gain in three years.

European shares have been lifted recently by expectations that a bond-buying program by the European Central Bank will help the region's economic recovery.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei share average rose as strong company earnings led by Nomura Holdings and Advantest Corp buoyed sentiment, but a sell-off in index-heavyweight SoftBank Corp limited the gains.

The Nikkei ended 0.4 percent higher at 17,674.39. For the week, the Nikkei gained 0.9 percent, while it rose 1.3 percent for the month. The broader Topix added 0.1 percent to 1,415.07 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.1 percent to 12,830.17.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  





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