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S&P 500 tries but fails at new record

Monday, Mar 25, 2013 - 02:08

March 25 - Summary of business headlines: Market euphoria over Cyprus deal is short lived; Boeing tests 787; Tobacco heat up Dollar General profits; BlackBerry z10 debut panned by Goldman; Fed officials sell low-interest strategy. Conway G. Gittens reports.

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A market that started off with promise ended with a thud as worries about Europe weigh on sentiment. The S&P 500 came within a point of its all-time record closing high before falling into negative territory and the rest of the market gave up early gains to trade lower for the rest of the day. So what happened? Jeroen Dijsselbloem - the head of the Eurogroup Finance Ministers - said the Cyprus bailout, which requires a tax on bank deposits, is a template for future bank bailouts. Even though he later tried to back track, investors fret such a practice would throw Europe further into chaos. Boeing is working hard to get its 787 Dreamliners back up in the air. The super jumbo jet took to the skies in the first of two tests. Boeing wants to prove the lithium-ion battery is now safe following mishaps earlier this year, which grounded the entire fleet. The plane was constructed for LOT Polish Airlines but not yet delivered. Dollar General delivered when it comes to quarterly results. Profits topped forecast though sales growth did not. But growth in the retailer's low-cost tobacco sales is boosting profitability and encouraging the dollar store to predict stronger sales growth this year compared to last year. Shares of Dollar General up 2 percent, rival Family Dollar down almost 2 percent, and low-cost giant Wal-Mart up less than a percent. BlackBerry lost ground for a second day. Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock citing a lackluster selling debut for the BlackBerry z10 in the U.S. Shares were down more than 4-1/2 percent in U.S. trade. Two key Fed speakers offering a similar view on U.S. monetary policy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says his low interest rate policy will benefit the world economy. Meanwhile, New York Fed President William Dudley says it's still too early to start hinting of the Fed abandoning its low-interest rate and debt-buying strategy, because U.S. economic growth is still not as strong as it needs to be. But right now, the focus is on Cyprus, stocks were down half a percent in Germany, more than a full percent in France and fractionally lower in London.

S&P 500 tries but fails at new record

Monday, Mar 25, 2013 - 02:08

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