U.S. manufacturing growth in February causing investors to have some doubts about the state of the economic recovery. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 52.4 last month. Economists were expecting a reading of 54.5. Recently, manufacturing growth has been one of the bright spots for the U.S. economy. “The ongoing global challenges are part of what we’re seeing in the number today,” said Christopher Low, an economist at FTN Financial in New York.
Consumer spending only rose 0.2% in January, below analysts’ estimates. This number turned flat after adjusting for inflation. Consumer spending makes up a big chunk of the economy, so if that doesn’t begin to trend higher it will be difficult for the overall economy to recover. “Consumer spending is off to a pretty weak start in the first quarter,” said Keith Hembre, an economist at Nuveen Asset Management. “That along with the most recent durables goods is painting a pretty weak picture for first quarter GDP despite the strong jobs numbers.”
Stocks are still positive this morning heading towards midday trading. The Dow is up 38 points, the Nasdaq is up 12 points and S&P 500 is up 5 points.
Dex One Corporation (NYSE:DEXO) is up 12.57% today at $1.97. DEXO has traded 2.2 million shares so far today, 1 million shares more than its daily average. Dex One announced fourth quarter and full year 2011 earnings. The earnings were consistent with guidance the company previously announced. The company saw a 30% increase in fourth quarter digital growth. Dex One also reduced annual costs by $120 million. The company has a market cap of 100.47 million.
Liz Claiborne, Inc. (NYSE:LIZ) is up 8.93% this morning at $10.65. LIZ has traded 2.9 million shares so far today, well above its daily average of 2.6 million shares. LIZ shares are bouncing back today after falling yesterday on fourth quarter results. LIZ posted a fourth quarter profit due to the sales of its brands. Without these sales, Liz Claiborne’s profits fell to $0.10 a share from $0.14 a share last year.
Gap, Inc. (NYSE:GPS) is up 7.71% today at $25.16. GPS has traded 13.2 million shares so far today, more than double its average volume. GPS shares are higher today after the company reported February sales rose 6% compared to last year. The company has a market cap of 12.28 billion.
Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) is down 8.87% this morning at $35.85. BID has traded 2.9 million shares so far today, well above its daily average of 1.2 million shares. BID shares are falling today after Sotheby’s missed estimates for the fourth quarter. EPS came in at $1.04 per share, below estimates of $1.25 per share. The company has a market cap of 2.42 billion.
Chimera Investment Corporation (NYSE:CIM) is down 5.86% today at $2.88. CIM is down on heavy volume today with over 73 million shares traded so far. The stock trades about 9 million shares a day on average. CIM shares are down today after the company announced it will delay filing full-year financials. The company has a market cap of 2.96 billion.
Adtran, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) is down 5.16% today at $33.43. ADTN has traded 2.5 million shares so far today, more than double its average volume. ADTN shares are falling after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to equal weight from overweight. The company has a market cap of 2.12 billion.