Closing Update: Higher Finish But Early Rally Loses Steam on Profit-Taking Before Heavy Econ Calendar

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Stocks erased most of Friday's early gains tied to upbeat consumer spending data and hopes for global stimulus measures as investors took profits ahead of next week's deluge of economic data. That heavy line-up culminates in the pivotal non-farm payrolls report on Friday. Developments in Ukraine, where Russian troops are amassing on the eastern border, also spooked Dow Industrials investors into giving back most of its triple-digit gain. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, made a dramatic about-face as pressure on momentum and biotech stocks contributed to the index's worst weekly performance in 17 months. The broad S&P 500 ends up 0.5% but logs a weekly loss.

The early rally was triggered by comments from Chinese Premier Li Kequiang who acknowledged the need for economic stimulus as the world's second largest economy continues to show signs of losing momentum. While in Europe, the odds for the ECB to cut rates next week improved following a larger-than-expected drop in Spanish CPI, fueling more deflationary risks to the economy.

Opening gains were amplified by indications that consumer spending is still intact despite a miserable winter. February consumer spending increased 0.3%, followed by a slightly greater-than-expected 0.3% gain in personal income.


The Reuters/Univ of Michigan index of consumer sentiment was revised slightly higher, to 80.0 from 79.9 initially, at a five-month low, the index deteriorated from 81.6 in February.

Here's where the markets stand at the close:

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 58 points (+0.36%) at 16,323

S&P 500 was up 8 points (+0.46%) at 1,857

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4 points (+0.1%) at 4,155

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 0.41%

Nikkei 225 was up 0.50%

Hang Seng Index was up 1.06%

Shanghai China Composite Index was down 0.24%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) ICLD (+22.58%) Maintains that allegations made against the company are "wholly without merit"

(+) BLIN (+12.50%) Announced a multi-year contract with an unidentified healthcare communications technology company.

(+) INPH (+11.25%) Reported sharply reduced 4Q losses and higher revenues.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) LPDX (-19.63%) Q1 revenue outlook cut after contract termination

(-) CNAT (-15.63%) Reported a Q4 net loss that was greater than analysts expected.

(-) EVDY (-3.57%) Stock price falls after 7.15 million share IPO priced at $14 per share



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.



This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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