Members of Ukrainian self-defense battalion "Donbass" prepare to relocate to another base in the eastern Ukrainian town of Popasna August 4, 2014.
Stocks finished lower on Tuesday despite better than expected economic data this morning, as an afternoon reports indicated that Russia has stepped up its military presence along the Ukrainian border.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,429.47, -139.8, (-0.8%)
- S&P 500: 1,920.21, -18.7, (-1%)
- Nasdaq: 4,352.83, -31, (-0.7%)
And now, the top stories on Tuesday:
1. The July non-manufacturing PMI report from the Institute for Supply Management came in at 58.7, topping expectations for a 56.5 reading. This was also up from a 56.0 print in June. ISM said it was the highest reading for the non-manufacturing headline index since its inception in January 2008, and the report's new orders sub-index registered a 64.9, the best reading since August 2005. Following the report, Dean Maki at Barclays said, "The surge in the ISM activity indexes, particularly that in the employment index, is somewhat surprising given the slowdown in private service sector job growth in the July employment report; the ISM report suggests that this slowdown in job growth should not be seen as a sign of developing weakness in the service sector and bodes well for growth in this sector in H2 14."
2. The Census Bureau's latest factory orders report showed orders jumped 1.1% in June, topping estimates for a 0.6% increase. June's number, however, was revised down to show a 0.6% decline, compared to an initial reading for a 0.5% decrease.
3. Markit's services PMI for July came in at 60.8, which was in-line with expectations and down slightly from 61 in June. "While the economy looks set to continue to expand at robust pace in the second half of the year, these summer months may turn out to represent the peaking in the rate of growth, Markit Economics' Chris Williamson said.
4. In stock news, Target announced that second quarter earnings would miss expectations. Target said soft sales are continuing in its Canadian stores, while the retailer also took a $148 million charge related to its data breach during last year's holiday season. "Since the data breach last December, we have been focused on providing clarity on the Company’s estimated financial exposure to breach-related claims," said John Mulligan, interim president and CEO, CFO of Target. "With the benefit of additional information, we believe that today is an appropriate time to provide greater clarity on this topic." Following the announcement, shares of Target fell 4.4%.
6. Stocks took a deep dive just before 2:00 pm ET, with the Dow falling nearly 200 points at one point, and traders attributed the move to a Financial Times report that said Russia was increasing its troop presence near the Ukrainian border.
7. A note from Goldman Sachs' U.S. equities team said that in the next several years there will be a "dramatic divergence" in the performance of stocks and bonds. Goldman, which says it expects interest rates to move to 4% by 2018, said that over the next several years stocks are poised to return 4% on an annualized basis, while bonds will provide investors with a -1% real return, adjusted for 2% inflation.
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