Top 10 News Items 07/30 - 08/03: More Jobs Added in July, Unemployment Rises; Knight Capital's Expensive Folly; FOMC Likes Rates, Remains on Watch

August 3, 2012 4:47 PM EDT
Here is a recap of the top news items from this week on Wall Street:

1. Nonfarm payrolls for the month of July rose 163,000, better than the 100,000 expected on the Street. The number comes following initial jobless claims data which has been hanging in the mid to upper 300,000 level over the last four weeks, with the lightest reading of 350,000 happening during the first week of July. Coincidentally, ADP payroll gains also came in at 163,000 for July. Despite the rise, unemployment crept 0.1 point higher to 8.3 percent.

2. Knight Capital (NYSE: KCG) had a whirlwind week, starting on Wednesday when it disclosed a software glitch led to faulty trading. The next day, Knight said it would take a pretax loss of $440 million on the trade, which was disclosed Friday that Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) was on the other side of.

3. The Federal Open Market Committee said Wednesday that rates would remain low through the end of 2014 and it would be ready to provide accomodation as needed.

4. ECB president Mario Draghi commented on Thursday that the bank would be ready to perform open market operations if necessary to sustain the euro. The bond buying would target shorter maturity bonds and would likely focus on Spain and Italy.

5. Markets ended the week on a strong note, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above 13,000 for the first time since May 7th. Overall sentiment from Europe was bolstered Friday with jobs numbers.

6. Retail sales came in mixed for July, with Gap, Inc. (NYSE: GPS) showing some impressive numbers and strong outlook as a results. On the flip side, sales at Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) were bad enough that it cut earnings expectations.

UBS said it best, though, that the macro environment appears to not be driving sales (yet).

7. Amid the stagnant economic environment, data from the Conference Board Tuesday showed Consumer Confidence rose in July, from 62.7 to 65.9. The number was the first increase in five months and came in ahead of economists expectations of 62.0. Traders were still hesitant following the data, with a readng of 90 indicating a healthy economy.

8. Notable earnings this week driving markets:
  • Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) - core EPS of 82 cents beating views calling for 77 cents. More here;
  • General Motors (NYSE: GM) - EPS of 90 cents topped views by 16 cents;
  • Green Mountain (Nasdaq: GMCR) brewed up EPS of 52 cents, edging out expectations of 50 cents. For more on Green Mountain's guidance, click here;
  • Kraft Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: KFT) out-cheesed analysts, with EPS of 68 cents coming in six cents better than expectations;
  • Pharma giant Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) had just what the doctor ordered, reporting EPS of 62 cents versus views of 54 cents. Click here for a summary; and
  • Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN) got slammed following AIG) announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has launched an offering of $4.5 billion of its AIG common stock, par value $2.50 per share (AIG Common Stock). AIG said it would be buying back about $3 billion of the stock. For more on the offering, click here.

    10. Auto sales stalled for the most part in July. Private corporation Chrysler said sales rose 13 percent to 126,000 vehicles. Ford (NYSE: F) saw a 3.8 percent drop to 174,000 units while GM sales slipped 6.4 percent to 204,000 units. Japanese firm Toyota (NYSE: TM) saw a 26.1 percent rebound in its U.S. sales, as more and more confidence was regained following the March 2011 tsunami which knocked out many of its operations. For more on auto sales in July, click here.

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UBS, Chrysler LLC, Initial Jobless Claims, Nonfarm Payrolls, Federal Open Market Committee, Top 10 News Items for the Week, Earnings

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