REUTERS/Eric ThayerOn an otherwise quiet day, trading stopped on the NASDAQ.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 14,963.7, +66.1, 0.4%
- S&P 500: 1,656.9, +14.1, 0.8%
- Nasdaq: 3,638.7, +38.9, 0.8%
And now, the top stories:
- At 12:14 p.m. ET, NASDAQ halted trading of stocks due to a quote dissemination issue. The halt went on for a historic three hours. Trading resumed at 3:25 p.m. ET. It's still unclear exactly what caused the problem.
- One of the few losers of the day was NASDAQ, whose shares fell by 3.4%.
- Weekly initial jobless claims climbed to 336,000 from 323,000 a week ago. This was a bit higher than the the 330,000 forecasted by economists. However, the 4-week average fell to 330,500, down from last week's reading of 332,750. This is the lowest level since November 2007, and it appears to signal good things for the jobs market.
- Gallup's unemployment rate tracker has actually been surging in recent weeks. It currently sits at 8.9%. This is worrisome because Gallup's unemployment rate has led the Bureau of Labor Statistics' official unemployment rate, which is currently at 7.4%.
- Preliminary manufacturing reports around the world were quite encouraging. Overnight, we learned that the HSBC China Flash manufacturing PMI jumped to 50.1 in August from 47.7 in July. Economists were looking for a reading of 48.2. Any reading above 50 signals expansion. "Many Street economists will likely to revise up their overly pessimistic 3Q GDP growth forecasts soon, " said Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Ting Lu.
- The Eurozone flash PMI numbers were overall encouraging. Both the manufacturing and services indices reflected accelerations in growth.
- Unfortunately, the good economic news may be a headache for the European Central Bank. "[I]t may become increasingly difficult for the Governing Council to convince the market that the newly adopted forward-guidance will mean policy rates will remain low (or lower) for an extended period of time," said Credit Agricole's Frederik Ducrozet.
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