U.S. stocks fall amid Japan GDP as investors await retail sales

Economic Reports

Investors have been scrutinizing economic data to determine whether growth is strong enough for the Fed to curtail its monthly bond buying. A Commerce Department report tomorrow will show that retail sales rose for a fourth consecutive month in July, economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted. A Fed release on Aug. 15 may show factories, mines and utilities increased their output in July. On Aug. 16, reports will probably show that housing starts and building permits rebounded last month.

In Asia, government reports showed Japan’s gross domestic product growth slowed from the first quarter to a pace below economists’ forecasts while Chinese factor production increased a higher-than-expected 9.7% in July.

Stock swings have narrowed. The S&P 500’s average intraday price changes averaged about 0.7% over the past 30 days, the smallest fluctuation since a comparable period ended Feb. 21, data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, retreated 2.3% to 13.10. The equity volatility gauge reached its 2013 peak in June and has since dropped 36%.

Weighing Penalties

Seven of 10 main groups in the S&P 500 fell today, with utility and energy stocks sinking at least 0.7% to lead the retreat.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. lost 0.9% to $54.04, the stock’s seventh straight decline. Prosecutors are weighing penalties for the bank, including a fine and a reprimand, related to allegations staff tried to conceal losses last year, the New York Times reported. The U.S. may announce charges as early as this week against former London-based employees, a person familiar with the matter said.

Tesla slumped 5.5% to $144.52. Investors are pricing in the company’s development into a successful premium manufacturer similar to Porsche Automobil Holding SE over the next decade, and any “execution issues” with its electric car models could send the shares down to $100, Aditya Satghare, an analyst with Lazard, wrote in a note to clients.

Sysco, Apple

Sysco fell 5.3%, the most in the S&P 500, to $33.17. The food distributor said it will not meet its fiscal 2015 earnings forecast as weak restaurant traffic hurt profit.

Apple advanced 3% to $468.02, on track to snap a four-day losing streak. The U.S. International Trade Commission on Aug. 9 said Samsung Electronics infringed two Apple patents and issued an order banning imports of products using the iPhone maker’s multitouch features and headphone jack detection.

F5 Networks Inc. gained 3.5% to $93.06. Barclays Plc analyst Ben Reitzes upgraded the Internet software provider to overweight from equalweight, citing improved prospects in the company’s networking business and “significant” opportunities to provide security solutions.

BlackBerry jumped 12%, the most since March 11, to $10.92. The mobile device maker said it has formed a special committee to explore options including a sale of the company or a joint venture. Its shares slumped 18% this year through the end of last week.

Newmont Mining Corp., the world’s second-biggest gold producer, gained 5.5% to $31.13 for the largest increase in the S&P 500, as the precious metal rose the most in three weeks. Barrick Gold Corp, Newmont Mining’s bigger rival, added 5.1% to $18.30.


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