Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wall Street Slips After Another Japan Quake, Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) Rallies

US stocks finished lower on Thursday after a earthquake measuring 7.4 shook northeast and eastern Japan. Shares also retreated as investors turned cautious after crude-oil futures topped $110 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 17.26 points, or 0.14%, to finish at 12,409.49. The S&P 500 dropped 2.031 points, or 0.15%, to close at 1,333.51. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 3.68 points, or 0.13%, to 2,796.14.

A release by Department of Labor on Thursday showed number of Americans filing first- time claims for unemployment benefits fell 10,000 to 382,000 in the week ending March 26. Economists expected jobless claims to drop to 385,000. The four-week average of seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims, a less volatile gauge, decreased 5,750 to 389,500. Continuing claims for the week ending March 19 fell 9,000 to 3.72 million.

Shares of Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) surged 64 cents, or 3.67%, to close at $18.10. 

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank, which sets monetary policy for the 17-nation euro zone, raised its refi rate to 1.25% from 1%. 

European stocks closed down. The UK FTSE fell 33.76 points, or 0.56% to 6,007.37. The German DAX and French CAC decreased 0.50% and 0.49% respectively.

Asian stocks finished little changed. The Nikkei 225 rose 6.56 points, or 0.07%, to 9,590.93. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong fell 3.25 points, or 0.75%, to 24,281.80.

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