Markets finished lower in the first trading session of August. Ken Meyers has your stock market report on the Acadiana Business Index.

  • The Dow was down 32 points to 12976, the S&P 500 Index lost nearly 4 points to 1375 and the NASDAQ was lower by 19 points to 2920.
  • Lofty expectations for central bank action pushed stocks higher heading into the FOMC statement, however the Fed stopped short of offering new monetary stimulus and said the economic recovery has lost momentum. The central bank also left its key interest rate unchanged and reiterated its pledge to keep rates low until late 2014.
  • Investor focus now turns to Thursday’s ECB announcement with speculation that the bank may implement further purchases of Italian and Spanish bonds to help stem the region’s debt crisis.
  • With the spotlight on the Fed, today’s economic data was on the back burner.
  • Ahead of the Friday’s jobs report, private sector employment unexpectedly bested consensus showing 163,000 jobs were created in July. In addition, the ISM manufacturing index remained near a three-year low while construction spending climbed 0.4% in June, helped by some stabilization in the housing market.
  • Meanwhile, second-quarter earnings season started to wind down, but after the close tonight notable profit tallies were due out from Prudential Financial, MetLife and Transocean.
  • Overall, NYSE Composite volume totaled over 4.3 billion shares. The NYSE was 5-3 negative on issues and 2-1 negative on volume. On the NASDAQ, decliners beat advancers by 3-1 on issues and by 2-1 on volume.
  • In bondland, Treasuries were lower with the 10-year note down 13/32 to yield 1.52% and the 30-year bond lost 27/32 to yield 2.59%.