DJ30 PointChange: +32.77 Level: 12392.69 NASDAQ PointChange: +2.34 Level: 2676.56 NQ100 PercentChange: -0.2 R2K PercentChange: +0.5 SP400 PercentChange: +0.5 SP500 PointChange: +2.89 Level: 1280.7 NASDAQ-Adv:1433 Dec: 1074 NYSE-Adv:1908 Dec: 1088
major equity averages mustered modest gains after muddling along for
most of the session. The slog was a consequence of listlessness amid a
lack of catalysts.
An absence of data and market-moving corporate news this morning left
market participants with few cues in the early going. Participants also
shrugged off a bounce by the euro, which ended the day with a 0.7% gain
against the greenback, because Europe's bourses failed to display the
same positive sentiment by trading lower. A meeting between officials
from France and Germany failed to produce any encouraging headlines
about efforts to restore conditions in the European continent.
Although the broad market was range bound for most of the day,
industrials stocks eventually moved ahead of the herd. As a group,
industrials were able to ascend to a 0.8% gain. That bested both energy
and financials, which finished with gains of 0.6% and 0.5%,
respectively. Technology stocks, which collectively represent the
largest sector by market weight, offset that strength by trading down to
a 0.3% loss, even though shares of semiconductor players were boosted
by positive analyst commentary.
While many participants were focused on the prospects of earnings season, which is unofficially ushered in by Dow component Alcoa (AA 9.43, +0.27), Inhibitex (INHX 23.70, +13.83) attracted attention because Bristol Myers Squibb
(BMY 33.91, -0.31) will pay a premium of about 160% over the stock's
prior session closing price so that the company may be acquired. Shares
of Achillion Pharma (ACHN 9.72, +1.80) traded higher in conjunction with the announcement.
Although earnings season may be unofficially under way, market
participants will still have to go without any economic data of
consequence until later in the week. Since the earnings season doesn't
get going in earnest until next week and economic news will be limited
in coming days, trade may remain anemic, even after all of the
end-of-year holidays and vacations. With less than 800 million shares
traded on the NYSE today, the paltry share volumes of the past couple of
weeks do not yet appear to have passed.
Industrials +0.8%, Energy +0.6%, Financials +0.5%, Materials +0.2%,
Utilities +0.2%, Health Care +0.2%, Consumer Staples +0.1%
Unchanged: Consumer Discretionary
Declining Sectors: Telecom -0.1%, Tech -0.3%