MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 24/04/12
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: +74.39 Level: 13001.56 NASDAQ PointChange: -8.85 Level: 2961.6 NQ100 PercentChange: -0.6 R2K PercentChange: +0.8 SP400 PercentChange: +0.3 SP500 PointChange: +5.03 Level: 1371.97 NASDAQ-Adv:1639 Dec: 893 NYSE-Adv:2037 Dec: 985
[BRIEFING.COM] The Dow and S&P 500 booked solid gains today, but the Nasdaq faltered amid weakness in Tech stocks and heavyweight Apple.
The tone of trade ahead of the open was generally positive, thanks to renewed buying interest in Europe. However, when Europe's bourses began to give back their gains, sentiment softened at home. Confidence was further undermined by news that there was a drop in the number of Apple (AAPL 560.28, -11.42) products connected to the AT&T (T 31.72, +1.11) network. That news put pressure on shares of AAPL ahead of its quarterly report, but shares of T were able to score strong gains on the back of their better-than-expected earnings results.
Shares of AAPL hampered the Nasdaq since the open. Weakness in the Tech-rich Index was exacerbated by Symantec (SYMC 16.01, -2.06), which issued a disappointing forecast. Netflix (NFLX 87.68, -14.16) was also a source of weakness amid disappontment over its latest quarterly report and outlook.
A positive response to the latest dose of data helped the broad market bounce in mid-morning trade. Participants were generally pleased to learn that new home sales for March hit an annualized pace of 328,000, which is greater than the clip of 318,000 that had been broadly anticipated. Moreover, prior month numbers were revised upward to reflect an annualized pace of 353,000.
The Consumer Confidence Index eased back in April to 69.2 from 70.2 in the prior month. A reading of 69.5 had been generally expected.
Stocks encountered some selling in afternoon trade, but Financials and Energy helped prop up the broad market. They booked gains of 1.1% and 0.7%, respectively. Strength among blue chips helped the Dow maintain a lead over its counterparts for the better part of the day. In addition to AT&T, 3M (MMM 88.49, +1.36) and United Technologies (UTX 79.85, +0.10) reported upside earnings surprises of their own. Coach (COH 71.87, -3.25) and Texas Instruments (TXN 31.36, -0.53) also reported earnings that exceeded what had been widely anticipated, but neither settled in positive territory.
Advancing Sectors: Telecom +2.8%, Industrials +1.2%, Financials +1.1%, Utilities +0.8%, Energy +0.7%, Health Care +0.4%
Unchanged: Consumer Staples, Materials
Declining Sectors: Tech -0.6%, Consumer Discretionary -0.3%
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