U.S. stocks end bruising quarter on happy note

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47.24 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,049.13. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index (INDEXSP:.INX) added 28 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,912.


Traders said the afternoon drift lower by stocks caught their attention, before a late extension of gains calmed nerves. USA stocks gained a few traction towards the close of trade, finishing the day 1.5 per cent higher.

The losses over the past three months dragged major USA stock indexes solidly into negative territory for the year.

Indexes in Asia and <strong>Europestrong> also posted strong gains.

LIFT AT LAUREN: Ralph Lauren jumped $11.87, or 11.4 percent, to $115.92 after the company named a new CEO to replace its founder.

BAD QUARTER: The Dow Jones industrial average has fallen 7.7 percent in the past three months. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 1.4 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 2.1 per cent. South Korea’s stock market finished 1 per cent higher.

The stock is still down sharply for the year.

“A striking feature of the recent correction in global equities has been the accompanying deterioration in sentiment toward the asset class”, analysts at Barclays said in their quarterly outlook this week.

Payroll processor ADP says private employers added 200,000 jobs this month, up from the 180,000 the month before. In addition, CNBC reported that hedge fund manager and billionaire investor Carl Icahn is set to release a video tomorrow warning of danger ahead for markets, aruging that the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy has led to bubbles in art, real estate and high-yield bonds and that the fallout could be severe. Federal Reserve officials closely monitor US employment data as they debate when to begin raising short-term interest rates. Analysts are forecasting a 4.9 per cent decline in S&P 500 earnings for the third quarter, and a 3.4 per cent decline in revenue, according to FactSet. Gap fell 5.7 percent. Still, for the quarter the Nikkei lost 14 per cent, snapping a five-quarter winning streak and marking its largest one-quarter percentage decline since the second quarter 2010.

China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.5% on Wednesday.

“It’s been hard for investors because you’ve had a lot of things coinciding”.

THE QUOTE: “I’ve been surprised we haven’t had rallies like the one we’re seeing now”, said Tim Courtney, chief investment officer of Exencial Wealth Advisors.

US companies reporting quarterly earnings on Tuesday include Costco and Diamond Foods. “The uncertainty of a hike is really what’s bothering markets”, he said.

Chinese markets are closed from Thursday for the National Day holiday week. Williams Cos. shares were off $1.21, or 2.9%, to $40.39 in the pre-market. The dollar rose to 119.74 yen.


In commodities, crude oil slipped 0.3% to $45.09 a barrel.

AP File