Market Trades Lower on Soft Durable Goods Orders

JPMNew York, March 28th,( – U.S. stocks opened lower this morning after U.S. Durable Goods Orders came out slightly weaker than expected. Also, comments by Fed Chief Ben Bernanke, in a televised interview on Tuesday night indicated the Federal Reserve will continue with its policy of low interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off  -12 points, or -0.1 percent to 13,185 after the opening, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained +2 points or less than +0.1 percent to 3,123 and the S&P 500 Index shed -2 points also less than -0.1 percent to 1,410.

At midday, all major indexes were trading lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by -89 points or -0.7 percent to 13,109 while the. S&P 500 Index was off by -12 points or -0.8 percent to 1,400 and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined by -26 points or +0.8 percent to 3,094.

The Census Bureau released U.S. Durable Goods Orders this morning, which showed an increase of +1.6 percent in February, on target with analyst expectations. The number was better than the previous month’s revised decline of -3.0 percent; however Core Durable Goods missed expectations, rising only +2.2 percent versus an expected +3.0 percent increase. January’s headline number was also revised upward from -4.0 percent to -3.6 percent.

Stocks in the News

Annie’s Inc. (NYSE: BNNY)

Shares of Berkeley, CA based health and organic food company Annie’s Inc. rose +13.76 or +72.42 percent midday to $32.76 per share, after the company had an initial public offering of 5 million shares this morning. The price for the issue was $19 per share for the $95 million initial offering. Annie’s Inc. estimates the IPO will net the company $11.6 million. Annie’s sells its line of organic and natural foods at 25,000 retailers.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM)

Shares of JPMorgan Chase &Co. were off -0.25 or -0.5 percent midday to $45.64 per share, after testimony from Diane Genova, deputy general counsel for the firm provided additional details of a $176 million transfer of MF Global customer funds made to the bank shortly before MF Global’s collapse. The MF transfer to a JPMorgan Chase account was made on October 28th, 2011, just three days before MF Global declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to Reuters, Jon Corzine assured JPMorgan Chase that the firm had ample funds to cover overdrafts. The testimony by Genova was part of an ongoing investigation as to how MF Global lost an estimated $1.6 billion of customer funds.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE)

Shares of athletic shoe giant Nike fell -1.29 or -1.2 percent midday to $106.59 per share, after the Beaverton, OR Company sued rival Reebok International Ltd. over sales of products that featured recently traded quarterback Tim Tebow. In the lawsuit, Nike claims that Reebok’s agreement to sell NFL player themed apparel had expired on March 1st, 2012. The date is the same as the date for a licensing agreement with the NFL Players Association. Nike and Tebow also have an agreement for the quarterback to individually market products with his name. Tebow was recently traded to the New York Jets as a backup quarterback. 

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