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MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 27/12/11

Wednesday, 28 December 2011 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: -2.65 Level: 12291.05 NASDAQ PointChange: +6.56 Level: 2625.2 SP500 PointChange: +0.10 Level: 1265.4 NASDAQ-Adv:1260 Dec: 1309 NYSE-Adv:1543 Dec: 1460 BRIEFING.COM] Stocks finished the little changed as a lack of news flow from Europe combined with mixed data in the U.S. wasn't enough to push the Dow to a fifth consecutive day of gains. However, today’s fractional gain in the S&P 500 was enough to boost the index to its fifth winning session in a row. Data showed the Consumer Confidence Index for December rose to 64.5 from 56.0 in the prior month. It had been expected to improve to just 58.0. The Case-Shiller 20-city Index was less impressive, falling 3.4% year/year.

Gaming stocks rallied after the U.S. Justice Department is said to have reversed a previous ruling and will now let states decide if they want to legalize internet poker. Pokertek (PTEK 0.83, +0.10), Boyd Gaming (BYD 7.63, +0.68), Las Vegas Sands (LVS 43.99, +0.45), and MGM Resorts International (MGM 10.42, +0.46) all ended higher on the news.

Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN 69.08, +3.79) rallied 5.8% after the company announced a new round of safety tests confirmed the safety of its Enfamil powdered formula. The stock plunged more than 20% late last week on reports that a Missouri infant's death was linked to the formula.

European financials were under pressure today as the Italian 10-yr yield hovered near 7.00% ahead of the upcoming Italian auctions. Market participants will be closely watching tomorrow's issuance, as well as Thursday's, in an effort to gauge the demand for Italian paper. Shares of Deutsche Bank (DB 38.67, -0.43) and Barclays (BCS 11.13, -0.20) lost 1.1% and 1.8% respectively.

Sears Holding (SHLD 33.38, -12.47) plunged 27.2% after the company announced quarter-to-date same store sales fell by 5.2%. The company also said it would close between 100 and 120 Kmart and Sears full-line stores.

Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC 24.09, -2.39) tumbled 9.0% after announcing it will be required to recognize a material impairment of its net investment in the contract with U.K. National Health Service in the third quarter of fiscal year 2012. This has caused the company to withdraw its previously disclosed fiscal year 2012 financial guidance.

Treasuries ended the day with small gains as light buying dropped the 10-yr yield to 2.009%. Meanwhile, mild selling dropped the dollar index to 79.80. A 15 pip gain in the euro pushed the single currency up to 1.3070.

Source: Briefing

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