Stocks Still on Pace for Down Week
The Hong Kong Hang Seng index closed lower by 0.36% and the Nikkei in Japan finished down 1.60% after a disappointing report on the country's July industrial production numbers.
Bernanke's speech got the biggest reaction in the bond, currency and gold markets. The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 24/32, diluting the yield to 1.548%. The greenback weakened 0.64%, according to the dollar index.
October crude oil futures rose $1.85 to settle at $96.47 a barrel and December gold futures soared $30.50 to settle at $1,687.60 an ounce as traders took Bernanke's speech as a clear sign that quantitative easing -- viewed as favorable for precious metals -- was on the way.
In corporate news, Splunk(SPLK) reported a narrower-than-expected fiscal second-quarter loss on Thursday with revenue 12% ahead of analysts' estimates. The data software specialist also raised its revenue outlook for the full year to between $183 million and $186 million, up from a prior range of $174 million to $177 million. Shares were surging more than 15.5%.
OmniVision Technologies( OVTI ) , the maker of advanced digital imaging products, said it expects non-GAAP earnings of 21 to 37 cents a share for its fiscal second quarter ending in October on revenue of $355 million to $390 million.
Analysts are currently looking for a profit of 33 cents a share in the quarter on revenue of $268.6 million. Shares gained nearly 13%.
Zumiez( ZUMZ ) , the specialty retailer, provided weak guidance for its fiscal third quarter, sending its shares down 9.4%.
SAIC Inc ( SAI ) shares popped 3.4% after the government technology contractor said that it will split its business into two independent public companies.