RTTNews - The stock market in Japan ended in positive territory on Thursday lifted by satisfactory earnings results from Honda Motor, Nissan Motor, Nomura Holdings and better-than-expected industrial output data .
In the U.S., stocks traded in negative territory throughout the session but rebounded off the lows and closed with moderate losses amid low volume trading as traders digested weak economic numbers and earnings with increasing hopes of recovery later in the year. A mixed durable goods report and weak demand for Treasury Department's auction for 5-year notes also impacted trader sentiment
On the economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing a substantial decline in orders for manufactured durable goods for the month of June, primarily due to sharp decline in orders for transportation equipment. The report showed that durable goods orders fell 2.5% in June following a downwardly revised 1.3% increase in May. Economists had expected orders to fall 0.6% compared to the 1.8% increase originally reported for the previous month. Excluding a 12.8% decrease in orders for transportation equipment, orders for durable goods actually rose 1.1% in June compared to a 0.8% increase in May. The increase surprised economists, who had expected ex-transportation orders to come in unchanged.
The Treasury Department said its $39.0 billion sale of five-year notes drew a high yield of 2.625%. Demand was much weaker than expected, with the bid-to-cover ratio coming in at 1.92 compared to the 2.58 posted in the previous auction.
Traders largely shrugged off the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report which indicated that economic activity continued to be weak going into the summer, with most of the twelve Fed districts indicating that the pace of decline has moderated or that activity has begun to stabilize.
Traders also digested quarterly results from Time Warner (TWX), Qwest (Q) and ConocoPhillips (COP) that were largely ahead of expectations.
The Dow fell by 26 points or 0.3% to 9,071, the Nasdaq slipped by 7.75 points or 0.4% to 1,968 and the S&P 500 declined by 4.47 points or 0.5% to 975.
The Nikkei 225 Average opened higher at 10,156 compared to its previous close of 10,113 following satisfactory results from major companies including Honda Motor and Nissan Motor. and expectations of positive results from other major companies. After having drifted below the unchanged line of weak sentiment and lower commodity prices in mid-morning session, the market rallied on expectations of positive earnings from companies. Positive economic data on industrial output also lifted sentiment. The index ended with a gain of 51.97 points, or 0.51% at 10,165. The broader Topix Index of all first section issues ended in positive territory with a gain of 6.58 points, or 0.7%, to 937.
Light sweet crude oil for September delivery ended the Asian trading session at $63.23, down $0.12 from its previous close in New York at $63.35 a barrel on Wednesday.
Honda Motor gained 8.7% after reporting raising its forecast for the year ended March 2010. Brokerage Nomura Holdings lifted the rating of the carmaker to buy from neutral.
Nissan Motor surged up 9.98% after reported a lower-than-expected loss for the first quarter.
Mitsubishi Electric surged up 14.70% after having reported net loss for the first quarter which was less than half of the analysts' expectations.
Sumitomo Metal, the nation's No. 1 nickel producer, slid 3.87% after the company reported a 78% drop in net income for the first quarter, attributing lower prices of copper and nickel.
Nippon Oil Corp. lost 2.9% . The company revised its full year profit target downwards.
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