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MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 07/02/12

Wednesday, 08 February 2012 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: +33.07 Level: 12878.2 NASDAQ PointChange: +2.09 Level: 2904.08 NQ100 PercentChange: +0.2 R2K PercentChange: -0.1 SP400 PercentChange: +0.2 SP500 PointChange: +2.72 Level: 1347.05 NASDAQ-Adv:1201 Dec: 1336 NYSE-Adv:1689 Dec: 1299
[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks slipped in response to some early selling, but once they worked their way into higher ground they entered into a sideways drift that lasted almost all afternoon.

Dwindling confidence in Greece's ability to establish and implement new austerity measures undermined early sentiment. Rumors regarding a forthcoming agreement continue to permeate trade, but many of those stories are followed with headlines about further delays to discussions.

Despite frustration over Greece, an absence of economic data, and a lack of leadership among stocks, stocks were able to attract buyers in early trade. Their support spurred a rebound that took all three major equity averages into positive territory, where the spent the rest of the session drifting along narrowly above the neutral line.

With a 0.7% advance, utilities stocks collectively scored the strongest gains, despite their stodgy, defensive-oriented stature. Energy stocks weren't far behind; they climbed 0.5% with help from a rebound in oil prices, which overcame an early loss to settle pit trade with a 1.6% gain at $98.54 per barrel. BP Plc (BP 46.60, -0.27) was able to cut its loss, but still couldn't score an actual gain as shares wrestled with sellers in the wake of the company's latest quarterly report, which included a dividend hike to $0.08 from $0.07 per quarter.

Dow component Coca-Cola (KO 68.55, +0.52) put together a solid gain following an upside earnings surprise for the latest quarter, but fellow blue chip Microsoft (MSFT 30.35, +0.15) set a new 52-week high.

Swiss investment and banking outfit UBS AG (UBS 14.27, -0.10) slid in response to a disappointing quarterly report. Domestic investment banks and brokerage plays were implicated by the report. As a group financials finished the session with a fractional loss.

The only actual economic data for the day featured the latest consumer credit numbers, which showed that consumer credit spiked during December to $19.3 billion. That's more than double the Briefing.com consensus of $8.5 billion in consumer credit.

Fed Chairman Bernanke delivered a testimony to the Senate Budget Committee today, but his comments came without surprise since they mirrored those delivered last week to the House Budget Committee.

Advancing Sectors:
Utilities +0.7%, Energy +0.5%, Consumer Discretionary +0.4%, Tech +0.3%, Health Care +0.3%, Consumer Staples +0.1%
Unchanged: Telecom, Industrials
Declining Sectors: Financials -0.1%, Materials -0.3%

Source: Briefing

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