Stocks Down in Early Trading

U.S. stocks swung into red territory during early trade on Thursday as sentiment still remain wobbly ahead of congressional leaders’ next round of talks involving key issues such as debt ceiling and long-term spending cuts.

At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index edged down 0.27%; the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.21% while the S&P 500 Index lost 0.20%.

On U.S economic data front, a data provided by the Automatic Data Processing and Moody’s Analytics, showed that the private sector added 215,000 jobs in December, comfortably beating consensus estimate of 150,000 job additions.

A separate data provided by the Labor Department showed that initial claims for jobless benefits climbed to 372,000 for the week ended December 29. Economists were expecting 363,000 initial jobless claims.

Later at 2 p.m. EST, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its minutes from December 11-12 policy-setting meeting.

Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) slumped 12.27 percent after the company announced its fiscal first-quarter results. The discount retailer not only failed to deliver up to Street’s earnings expectations but also provided a lackluster outlook for the fiscal second quarter, citing challenging holiday-season.

Shares of SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) skyrocketed over 25 percent on Thursday, after the firm in its regulatory filing on Wednesday said that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) has bought its two projects in California for $2.5 billion.

Elsewhere in Europe, markets traded mixed on Thursday as initial euphoria after the fical cliff deal subsided on Thursday. At last check, the Pan European Stoxx 600 Index gained 0.32%, FTSE 100 Inched up 0.10% while Germany’s DAX lost 0.26%.

In Asia all leading benchmark Index ended higher on Thursday.

In some other markets, crude oil futures slipped 0.03% to $93.09 a barrel while gold futures for February delivery edged down 0.50% to $1,680.40.



Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.