This morning, stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) beat a retreat from a weeklong rally that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average north of 9,000 for the first time since January.
Weak earnings reports were a partial driving force for the pullback in the markets. Software king Microsoft (MSFT) reported its first-ever annual decline in sales of its Windows operating system. Additionally, the company reported a decline in profits of 29%, which resulted in a profit of $0.36/share and disappointed Wall Street and investors. The news sent the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) down nearly 1.6% in intraday trading.
More disappointing earnings news came from online retailer Amazon (AMZN), which failed to meet or beat Wall Street’s estimated quarterly earnings target and reported weaker-than-expected sales.
New York based financial company CIT Group (CIT) announced that it sweetened some terms of its $1 billion buyback debt plan to entice investors and make the offer successful, enabling the company to save itself a bankruptcy filing. Under the amended terms, more principal will be added to the senior notes if paid back earlier.
The federal minimum wage was raised today, to $7.25 an hour up from $6.55. While most states have their own minimum wage, they’re required to pay whichever is higher. This means that in 29 states, workers will be getting a raise.
The United Kingdom reported a contraction of its economy at a level twice as high as anticipated. With credit remaining restricted, world trade weak and consumers and business trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, the nation’s economy continues to struggle. The discouraging news sent the iShares MSCI United Kingdom Index (EWU) down 0.6% in morning trading.