A morning rally wilted Friday afternoon, dragging the S&P
500 off a new intra-day high as investors took a portion of their
winnings off the table late in the session and squared positions
ahead of the weekend. Declines also picked up speed after mid-day
comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard defended
hawkish comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen earlier this
week following the central bank's last policy-setting meeting.
Healthcare stocks led the afternoon selloff, followed closely by
shares of technology and consumer discretionary companies although
most sectors finished well off their earlier highs. The S&P
rose to a new all-time high of 1,883.97 about 10 minutes into
today's session, again climbing within a point of that high-water
mark about 90 minutes later before starting an extended slide lower
through the rest of the session.
Treasury yields jumped and stocks sagged earlier this week after
Yellen said in her first press conference as Fed chair that rates
could rise "around six months" after the central bank completes
tapering of its bond-buying stimulus efforts later this year.
Bullard, speaking in Washington today, said Wall Street should
not have been surprised by Yellen's remarks, noting "the surveys
that I had seen from the private sector had that kind of number
penciled in as far as I knew."
Commodities were mixed. Crude oil for April delivery was up 56
cents to settle at $99.46 per barrel while April natural gas was
down 6 cents at $4.31 per 1 million BTU. April gold rose $5.60 to
finish at $1335.80 per ounce while May silver fell 12 cents to
$20.31 per ounce. May copper rose 2 cents to $2.95 per pound.
Here's where the markets stood at the end-of-the-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 25.91 (-0.16%) to
S&P 500 down 5.58 (-0.30%) to 1,866.43
Nasdaq Composite Index down 42.50 (-0.98%) to 4,276.79
Hang Seng Index up 1.20%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 2.72%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.38%
(+) ECYT, Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the
European Medicines Agency issued positive opinions for joint
product development with Merck (
). Also reports positive results for prospective lung-cancer drug
in early-stage testing.
(+) LIN, Accepts $1.6 bln buyout from Media General (
), which will pay $763 million in cash and issue another 49.5
million shares of its stock for the television broadcaster. Other
TV operators also rose after the deal was announced.
(+) UPIP, Sells patent portfolio consisting of 21 patent
families - including patents for 3G and LTE mobile technologies -
to Chinese computer-maker Lenovo for $100 mln in cash. Also inks
term-based licensing pact.
(-) AIR, Reported worse-than-expected financial results for Q3
late Thursday and cut its guidance for fiscal 2014 below Street
(-) SYMC, Stock hit with downgrades after CEO abruptly
(-) DRAM, Will sell $659,250 of its common stock to
institutional investors at a 36% discount.
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