July 3, 2014 - Happy 4th July - Here is Your Weekly Market Wrap LIVE from the NYSE | Financial Buzz

July 3, 2014 – Happy 4th July! – Here is Your Weekly Market Wrap LIVE from the NYSE

 June 30, 2014 – July 3, 2014

This was a short holiday week, with markets closed Friday, nevertheless, optimism was abundant.  Monday marked the end of the 2nd quarter with the S&P 500 gaining the past six quarters, the longest string of quarterly gains since 1998.  In addition, the Chicago purchasing managers’ index remained strong at 62.6 for June, down from 65.5 in May. The pending home sales index, for existing homes, surged 6.1% in May.

On Tuesday, China’s purchasing managers’ index for June was at 51, a six month high.  The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index was 55.3 for June, close to May’s five month high of 55.4.  Both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at record highs. 

On Wednesday, the ADP employment report for June came in much stronger than expected at 281,000 and much higher than May’s 179,000.  Factory orders for May fell .5%, however, defense dragged it down, and removing the defense component showed a slight .2% rise.  The S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials both closed at record highs. 

On Thursday, the much awaited nonfarm payroll report for June came out and it did not disappoint. Total jobs increased 288,000, much higher than expected and up from 224,000 in May.  The unemployment rate fell to 6.1%, and average hourly earnings were up .2%.  Jobless claims for the week ending June 28th held steady at 315,000, almost unchanged from the prior week.  Markets were up modestly on the news and the Dow Industrials broke 17,000 for the first time.

Now let’s take a look at some stocks.

General Motors (NYSE: GM) announced on Monday another recall for 8.5 million vehicles. This bumps up GM’s North American recall count to approximately 29 million vehicles this year, more vehicles than the company sold in the US between 2005 through 2013. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warned that the ignition defects in the latest round of recalls can cause air bags not to deploy in the event of an accident.

Hormel Food Corp. (NYSE: HRL) confirmed they will be acquiring Muscle Milk producer, CytoSport Holdings Inc., for $450 million. Hormel, known for popular products like Spam and Skippy Peanut Butter, will now have the ability to expand their business into other sectors of the food industry.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced they will be acquiring music-streaming startup, Songza Media. Taking advantage of the growing popularity of music streaming, Google intends to integrate Songza into Google Play and YouTube. Details behind the acquisition still haven’t been released.

Kroger (NYSE: KR), the largest US supermarket chain, said Wednesday they have agreed to purchase online vitamin retailer, Vitacost.com Inc. (NASDAQ: VITC), for $280 million. The acquisition of Vitacost will allow Kroger to add a new sector to their market that includes nutritional and healthy living products. The acquisition will enhance its technological expertise and provide a channel for fulfilling home delivery and online orders.

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