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Overnight Markets: Wall Street dips on Bernanke statement

Date: Friday, July 15, 2011
Author: Himanshu Singh, Citywire.co.uk

Wall Street declined on Thursday led by technology shares after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said he’s not prepared to take immediate action to stimulate the economy and amid concern that US politicians may fail to agree on raising the US debt ceiling.

The Dow Jones industrial average slid 54 points, or 0.44%, to close at 12,437. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed nine points, or 0.67%, to finish at 1,309. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 34 points, or 1.22%, to end at 2,763.

In a second day of testimony, Bernanke said that the Fed would be ready to inject more money should the economy get worse. He said the time had not come yet.

Technology stocks were the top decliners with the Merrill Lynch Semiconductor HOLDRS Trust losing 1.3% and Novellus shedding 1.3%. However, Google surged 12.3% in after-hours trading after the Internet giant reported adjusted quarterly earnings that exceeded Wall Street's most bullish forecasts.

Among financials, JPMorgan Chase was the only one to close higher gaining 1.8% after it reported greater-than-expected profit.

Elsewhere, during the regular session, News Corp shares declined 3.1% after the US Federal Bureau of Investigation said it would probe allegations that the company hacked into the phone records of victims of the 11 September attacks on the US.

ConocoPhillips was one of the S&P top performers at 1.6% after an announcement that the company plans to split its refining and production businesses into two.

In Asia, equities declined on Friday in morning trade led by commodity stocks as oil and metal prices fell after Bernanke’s statement that he won’t act immediately to stimulate the world’s biggest economy.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 136 as of 9:44 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.2%. South Korea’s Kospi Index gained 0.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.4%. In China, Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.26% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was trading 0.71% lower.

In company news, BHP Billiton sank 1.9%, Woodside Petroleum lost 1.6% in Sydney and Mitsubishi dropped 0.3% in Tokyo.