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MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 23/01/12

Tuesday, 24 January 2012 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: -11.66 Level: 12708.82 NASDAQ PointChange: -2.53 Level: 2784.17 NQ100 PercentChange: +0.00 R2K PercentChange: -0.2 SP400 PercentChange: +0.00 SP500 PointChange: +0.62 Level: 1316 NASDAQ-Adv:1110 Dec: 1350 NYSE-Adv:1756 Dec: 1259

[BRIEFING.COM] Things looked bullish in the early going, but a mid-morning reversal left stocks to spend the rest of the session slowly working their way back to the flat line.

Trade today opened on a flat note, but stocks were quickly bid up to a solid gain that resulted in a new multi-month high. However, stocks were unable to sustain the move, even as the euro displayed considerable strength.

The euro sported an impressive lead over the greenback for the entire session. The currency's climb to a near three-week high above $1.30 came amid heightened anticipation for revised measures to prevent a default by Greece. Although no new details were officially released, some speculate that Greece won't be getting any more money from the International Monetary Fund or the Eurozone.

Chatter related to the latter matter coincided with the stock market's pullback, possibly reflecting a mix of frustration and disappointment related to the drawn out process of shoring up conditions in Greece.

Early leaders, tech and financials were caught up in the stock market's slide. Both sectors were up about 1% at their session highs, but each retreated into the red alongside the broad market. They eventually fought back to book modest gains, but neither displayed the same leadership as what was exhibited shortly after the open.

End results were mostly mixed as defensive-oriented telecom traded down to a 0.8% loss and health care fell 0.5%, but utilities mustered a 0.3% gain. Consumer staples stocks slipped 0.2%, which is actually on par with the 0.2% loss and 0.3% loss that cyclical sectors like consumer discretionary and industrials shed, respectively.

No economic data was released today and only a dearth of earnings announcements was made ahead of the open. Halliburton (HAL 35.44, -0.76) was the most widely held name in the handful of companies that announced. Although the oil and gas services play posted an upside earnings surprise, its shares still wrestled with selling pressure all session, even as the rest of the energy sector worked its way to a 0.7% gain, which is bettter than what any other group achieved.

Share volume was paltry once again, barely coming close to 1 billion on the NYSE Big Board. Although it is easy to blame the lack of participation on the absence of news flow and economic data, apathy has been a recurring theme for a few months.

Advancing Sectors: Energy +0.7%, Tech +0.4%, Financials +0.3%, Utilities +0.3%
Declining Sectors: Telecom -0.8%, Health Care -0.5%, Industrials -0.3%, Consumer Staples -0.2%, Consumer Discretionary -0.2%, Materials -0.1%

Source: Briefing

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