U.S. stocks finished with small losses on Wednesday, as worries
over European sovereign debt overwhelmed more positive corporate
Most industry sectors ended in the red, with the steepest
declines among technology and healthcare stocks although no sector
rose or fell more than 0.2%. Energy stocks finished slightly lower
while crude oil erased early declines after a government report
show inventories rose less than expected. Other commodities were
Today's declines pulled stocks off multi-year highs, after the
S&P 500 closed Tuesday above 1,500 and had climbed to within 60
points of its all-time intraday high of 1,576.09. The Dow also had
returned to within striking distance of 14,000 points, its highest
level since October 2007.
Worries European voters could soon undo efforts to prop up the
sovereign debt in several troubled countries had stocks drifting
lower today. An opinion poll in Italy showed the anti-austerity
campaign of Silvio Berlusconi gaining support, with the former
premier drawing within 0.3% of front-runner Pier Luigi in the Feb.
24-25 elections. The results of the Tecne institute for SkyTG24
poll were lower than the survey's margin of error of 4 percentage
European Central Bank policymakers are scheduled to meet
tomorow, adding to today's market uncertainty.
It was a light day for economic news, with the Mortgage Bankers
Association reporting a 3.4% rise in its seasonally adjusted
composite index for mortgage applications during the week ended
Feb. 1. That reversed an 8.1% drop during the prior week while the
seasonally adjusted purchase index rose by 2% to its highest level
since May 2010.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration today said U.S.
commercial crude inventories increased by 2.6 million barrels last
week, less than the 3-million build experts polled by Platt's were
expecting. Total U.S. commercial crude inventories rose to 371.7
million barrels, well above the upper limit of the five-year range
for this time of the year.
Crude oil for March delivery settled little changed on
Wednesday, slipping 2 cents to $96.62 per barrel. March natural gas
was up 2 cents to $3.42 per 1 million BTU. April gold rose $4.90 to
$1,678.60 per ounce while March silver fell 3 cents to $31.85 per
ounce. March copper was down 3 cents to $3.74 per pound.
Here's where the markets stand at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.05% to 13,986.52
S&P 500 up 0.05% to 1,512.12
Nasdaq Composite down 0.1% to 3,168.48
Hang Seng up 0.47%
Shanghai Composite up 0.06%
FTSE-100 up 0.20%
(+) BIOL, U.S. regulators approve the company's 940-millimeter
Diolase 10 diode soft tissue laser for a broad spectrum of medical
(+) GDP, Completes 50%-owned Crosby 12H-1 well in Wilkinson
County, Mississippi, with the production rate continuing to improve
to 1,250 barrels of oil equivalent per day. GDP also has a 7%
non-operated working interest in the Anderson 17H-2 well, which is
now being drilled.
(+) RL, Fiscal Q3 net income of $2.31 per share beats by $0.13.
Revenue in-line at $1.8 billion. Expects 2% revenue growth for FY13
over last year, including mid-single-digit growth in Q4.
(+) SFLY, Reports Q4 GAAP earnings of $1.40 per share, crushing
analyst expectations for a $1.01 gain. Net revenue rose 33% to
$351.8 million, also beating the analyst consensus.
(+) TTWO, Earned $0.67 per share in its fiscal Q3, $0.13 above
estimates. Revenue also beats, helped by a record-breaking release
for its NBA 2k13 game.
(-) ELN, Sells its stake in Tysabri back to joint venture
partner Biogen Idec (
) for $3.25 billion and 12% of global net sales during the first
year after the deal close. BIIB is up 2.7% today.
(-) SU, Reports Q4 operating earnings of $0.65 per year, down
from a $0.91 operating profit in the year-ago quarter and also
trailing analyst forecasts for the period by $0.14.
(-) HAIN, Q2 revenue that trailed analyst expectations by $17
million, coming at $455.3 million. Adjusted earnings of $0.72 per
share, ex one-time items, beat the Capital IQ consensus by
(-) INFN, Forecasts Q1 net loss that could be larger than
analyst projections. Sees per-share net loss of $0.05 to $0.09
while the Street is expecting a $0.07 loss. Revenue of $115 million
to $125 million is in-line with analyst projections is down from
the trailing quarter.
(-) VOCS, Reports Q4 non-GAAP revenue of $47.4 million, up 55%
over the final three months of 2011 but lagging the median analyst
projection by $260,000. Adjusted net income of $0.24 in-line with
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