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Reports US

US stock market daily report (January 02, 2014, Thursday)

January 3, 2014, Friday, 05:52 GMT | 00:52 EST | 10:22 IST | 12:52 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders


On Thursday the first trading day of 2014, U.S. markets ended the session sharply lower, frowning at the start of the New Year. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower by over 135 points. Nasdaq Composite was off by over 33 points and S&P 500 Index was lower by over 16 points. Nearly two-thirds of stocks on the New York Stock Exchange closed lower today while on the Nasdaq 61% of stocks closed in the red zone. Reports that Chinese manufacturing in December experienced its slowest pace of growth in three months, added to concerns over the recovery of the number two economy in the world. The benchmark Shanghai index ended the first session of the year, down 0.31 percent. Readings in December shows that Chinese manufacturing, as a whole is still growing but in the crucial export sector, producers saw a contraction for the first time since July. In an attempt to shift Chinese growth model away from exports, credit-fuelled investment and, construction of infrastructure and real estate, Beijing is embarking on a series of complex and difficult reforms. The shift by China is to encourage consumption and a more environmentally friendly, service-oriented economy.

The dollar index rose 0.7 percent on Thursday to 80.631 for its largest one-day gain in nearly five months. The dollar index hit a high of 80.709, its strongest level seen since December 20. The dollar hit a high of 105.44 yen for its strongest level versus the Japanese currency since October 2008. Gains were erased for the dollar to trade down 0.5 percent at 104.71 yen. The dollar index is a gauge of the greenback's value against six major currencies.

While the euro was the strongest-performing major currency during 2013 although historically, it tends to weaken at the start of a new year. The euro fell 0.7 percent against the dollar to $1.3654, touching a two-week low of $1.3628. The euro fell 1.4% to 143 yen for its worst daily performance since early November.

BofA Settles with Massachusetts
Bank of America Corporation (BAC-NYSE) will pay more than $17 million in a settlement with the state of Massachusetts over mortgage-backed securities. BofA bought Countrywide in 2008 and per an announcement from state Attorney General Martha Coakley, will pay $11.3 million to the state pension fund plus another $6 million to the state. Countrywide has been accused of misleading investors about the quality of the securities it sold during the run-up to the financial crisis by the state of Massachusetts.

Macy's and Martha Stewart Settle
A breach of contract lawsuit against Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (MSO-NYSE) by Macy's, Inc. (M-NYSE), was reportedly settled on Thursday. Terms of the settlement are confidential and are not deemed to be material effect to the company. Macy's sued J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP-NYSE) while under the rein of former CEO Ron Johnson, after Penney's inked a deal to sell Martha Stewart designed home goods in its stores. Macy's argued the agreement violated the existing exclusive contract with Martha Stewart Living.