Stocks ease back from record highs

  @CNNMoneyInvest September 12, 2013: 9:11 AM ET
u.s. stocks, sp500 futures

Click the chart for more premarket data.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

The September rally may lose some steam after recent gains have pushed major indexes close to record levels.

U.S. stock futures were little changed Thursday.

On the economic front, the government's weekly report showed that first-time claims for unemployment benefits dropped sharply to 292,000 -- their lowest level since early 2006. But the Labor Department noted that two states did not report complete data last week, which skewed the total figure.

In corporate news, yoga-wear producer lululemon (LULU) announced a jump in quarterly sales and profit, but shares plunged in premarket trading as the company lowered its guidance for the year.

Shares in Men's Wearhouse (MW) sank 15% after the company reported disappointing quarterly earnings on Wednesday. Vera Bradley (VRA) shares tumbled 10% after the handbag producer offered weak guidance.

On the bright side, shares of grocery chain Kroger (KR, Fortune 500) moved higher on better-than-expected earnings and sales.

Facebook (FB) shares were poised to open at a fresh all-time high Thursday, a day after topping $45 for the first time since its first day of turbulent trading on May 18, 2012. Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt Wednesday evening, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is better off for having gone through its rocky IPO.

Shares of Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) were up modestly in pre-market trading. Late Wednesday, billionaire investor Carl Icahn said boosted his stake in Apple as shares of the company tumbled more than 5% due to disappointment with the two new iPhones.

Related: Fear & Greed Index idling in neutral

Investors continue to remain wary about the U.S. Federal Reserve, which could decide to cut back on its quantitative easing program this month. The Fed has previously indicated that it was considering scaling back on this massive, liquidity-boosting program, which has supported a big rally in stock markets around the world.

Meanwhile, Mike van Dulken, the head of research at Accendo Markets in London said investors are still looking for some excuses to buy. He said the easing tension in Syria just may be that catalyst.

The threat of U.S.-led military strikes against Syria has created a lot of volatility in global markets, though it's looking increasingly likely that a diplomatic resolution may be found.

Related: Facebook shares finally top $45

U.S. stocks finished mixed Wednesday. The S&P 500 moved slightly higher, while a sharp drop in Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) shares pushed the tech-heavy Nasdaq into the red.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 130 points, helped by a big jump from IBM (IBM, Fortune 500), the most heavily weighted stock in the index.

European indexes were mixed in afternoon trading. Asian markets also had a mixed day, with stocks in China edging up while Japan's Nikkei posted a small decline. To top of page



Join the Conversation
Markets
Sponsored by
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 1:59pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.19 -0.02 -0.09%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.36%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.39%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.27%
30 yr refi4.34%4.22%
15 yr refi3.38%3.24%
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.