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Thursday, 09 February 2012 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: +5.75 Level: 12883.95 NASDAQ PointChange: +11.78 Level: 2915.86 NQ100 PercentChange: +0.5 R2K PercentChange: +0.1 SP400 PercentChange: +0.1 SP500 PointChange: +2.91 Level: 1349.96 NASDAQ-Adv:1428 Dec: 1099 NYSE-Adv:1741 Dec: 1257

[BRIEFING.COM] For the second straight session a dearth of headlines left stocks to slog along in mixed fashion, but the broad market still mustered a modest gain, which marked its fifth advance in six sessions and its best close in seven months.

Stocks gave up early gains to trade with modest losses, but they were able to gradually battle their back into positive territory. Financials and tech issues, arguably the two most influential sectors, traded out in front of the action. Strength in the two sectors resulted in gains in 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively.

Ralph Lauren (RL 171.49, +14.42) was a top performer by percent gained. The stock's surge to a record high followed an upside earnings surprise. Dow component Walt Disney (DIS 41.27, +0.29) also posted better-than-expected earnings, as did Time Warner (TWX 38.54, +0.44). Time Warner complemented its report with strong guidance and a dividend hike, but the stock failed to sustain an early advance. Sprint (S 2.41, -0.04) rebounded from an early slump that came in response to an earnings miss, but the stock ultimately returned to the red.

There wasn't a single dose of data released today. And although headlines suggested that the Troika is looking for Greece to pledge permanent spending cuts, terminate government jobs, trim its minimum wage, and increase sales tax, market participants also continue to await official developments from the flagging country.

Both the dollar and the euro had a relatively quiet day of trade. As of the closing bell, both were essentially flat for the session.

Treasuries also traded quietly. Not even strong demand at an auction of 10-year Notes drove traders to action. The auction drew a bid-to-cover of 3.05, dollar demand of $73.2 billion, and an indirect bidder participation rate of 38.9%. For comparison, an average of the past six auctions results in a bid-to-cover of 3.10, dollar demand of $67.9 billion, and an indirect bidder rate of 43.4%.

The lack of headlines and action continues to make for paltry participation. That left share volume on the NYSE below 800 million once again.

Advancing Sectors:
Financials +0.8%, Tech +0.7%, Industrials +0.2%, Materials +0.2%, Consumer Discretionary +0.2%
Unchanged: Telecom, Utilities, Consumer Staples
Declining Sectors: Health Care -0.1%, Energy -0.6%

Source: Briefing

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