MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 29/02/12
Thursday, 01 March 2012 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: -53.05 Level: 12952.07 NASDAQ PointChange: -19.87 Level: 2966.89 NQ100 PercentChange: -0.4 R2K PercentChange: -1.6 SP400 PercentChange: -0.6 SP500 PointChange: -6.50 Level: 1365.68 NASDAQ-Adv:656 Dec: 1911 NYSE-Adv:1029 Dec: 1979
[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks attempted to return to positive territory after a mid-morning reversal took the major equity averages into the red, but resistance at the neutral line invited sellers to redouble their efforts and drop stocks for marked losses.
The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq each traded up to new multi-year highs in the early going, but the move was short lived. Traders turned on stocks when prepared remarks for Fed Chairman Bernanke's semiannual FOMC report to the House Financial Services Committee began to circulate. His comments contained no surprises, but likely disappointed some because they also failed to offer reassurance that the Fed remains committed to an accommodative monetary policy, especially after fourth quarter GDP data was revised upward.
Fourth quarter GDP grew at a clip of 3.0%, which is greater than the 2.8% that had been reported in the advance reading. No revision had been expected.
A stronger economic picture was painted by a Chicago PMI of 64.0 for February. That exceeded the reading of 60.0 that had been broadly expected to follow the prior month reading of 60.2.
Later in the day the Fed's Beige Book reported that overall economic activity continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace in January and early February.
Although the macro picture continues to improve, many market participants are questioning if that is priced into the stock market now that the S&P 500 has climbed about 10% year to date and sits at levels not seen since 2008. The interest in taking some risk off of the table likely played a part in the stock market's intraday pullback and then its inability to return to higher ground.
Financials offered leadership in the early going. The sector ran up to a gain of about 1% before encountering any headwinds. It settled the session with a 0.5% loss.
Materials stocks were among the worst performers. The sector slumped 1.7% as many metals and mining issues took a hit in conjunction with a slump in precious metals prices. Silver settled with a 7.0% loss at $34.58 per ounce while gold prices closed at $1710 per ounce for a 4.4% loss after both had put on impressive performances in the prior session.
Oil managed to score a gain after two days of selling, though. Crude oil futures contract prices climbed 0.5% to close pit trade $107.09 per barrel even after weekly inventory data showed a bigger-than-expected build of more than 4 million barrels.
The Dollar Index set a two-month low yesterday, but it rallied to a 0.7% gain today. Most of that move is owed to weakness in the euro, which tumbled about 1.1% to about $1.33. Earlier today it was learned that the European Central Bank made more than $700 billion available to the continent's banks in the form of three-year loans.
Advancing Sectors: Consumer Staples +0.3%
Declining Sectors: Telecom -0.1%, Utilities -0.1%, Consumer Discretionary -0.1%, Financials -0.5%, Health Care -0.5%, Industrials -0.5%, Tech -0.5%, Energy -1.0%, Materials -1.7%
There are no comments available.