US stocks marginally down as Euro leaders meet



    In the backdrop of talks between European leaders German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, US stocks remained flat awaiting the outcome of the talks. The S&P index had shot up 1.6% last week in the best start to the new year since 2006, although data for profit growth per share, computed for the last 11 quarters, indicated just a 6% growth, the worst since  the end of 2009.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading at 12,355.91 points after declining 0.03% while the S&P 500 Index was trading at 1,278.34 points indicating a loss of 0.04%.

    The NASDAQ Composite Index was down to 2,669.29 points showing a decline of 0.18% after opening at 2,682.98 points.

    European markets were more pessimistic, with the EURO STOXX  down 0.54% at 2,286.15 points. The FTSE 100 Index was trading at 5,615.44 points or 0.61% below its opening at 5,649.68. The German Stock Index DAX was trading at 6,020.27 points after a drop of 0.62%.

    Asian stocks had shown mixed results today with the Nikkei 225 closing at 8,390.35 points down 1.16% but the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index  closed at 18,865.72 reflecting a gain of 1.47%. The Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index did even better with a gain of3.40% ending the day at ,368.57 points.

    Most sectoral indices were up, with the exception of communications which was down 0.19%. Oil was down 1.13% and Gold had declined by 0.16%.

    Last week’s rally was all about improving economic scenario in countries like the US, Germany and China. Manufacturing which is widely thought to be the Achilles heel of the US economy surprised everyone by performing over forecast.

    German leaders are in a meeting to carve out a plan to quicken the fund collection for the bailout fund. The German Chancellor also spoke of fast tracking the new budget rule book, so that it is completed by Jan 30, a month ahead of schedule.

    Going forward the Eurozone economy will clearly remain a focus of concerns.