Closing Update: S&P Hits Another Record High Despite Indecisive Market

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Stocks closed narrowly mixed after hugging a skin-tight range today as participants sit on the fence after last week's impressive run, and before the release of Apple ( AAPL ) earnings late Monday. The defensive tone was triggered early on by disappointing earnings from Merck ( MRK ) but improved mid-morning as a string of upbeat earnings poured in. The S&P 500 reached a new record high on strength in consumer staples and the energy sector and has managed to hold onto a slim gain, closing higher for the third consecutive day and the eighth higher close in nine, while outperforming both the Dow Industrial and Nasdaq.

Economic data on manufacturing and housing was mostly bearish. Industrial production and capacity utilization both beat estimates and improved from their month prior levels, but housing continued to show deterioration due to higher mortgage rates and rising home prices. This was followed by a dramatic drop in the Dallas Fed index of manufacturing activity which plummeted 70% from the month prior.

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 1.4, or 0.008%, at 15,568

S&P 500 was up 2.3, or 0.1%, at 1,762

Nasdaq Composite Index down 3, or 0.1%, at 3,940

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 0.07%

Nikkei 225 was up 2.19%

Hang Seng Index was up 0.48%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.91%

UPSIDE MOVERS:

FIO Shares rallied after two of the flash-memory company's top executives purchased nearly 160,000 shares of its stock late last week.

GOGO, Signed a contract with Japan Airlines to provide Gogo's in-flight Internet service on JAL's domestic fleet of 77 aircraft.

FRM (+4.25%) Barron's article pointed out that Furmanite has little net debt and rising sales and income and could rise as much as 30%.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

ASTI Announced an 85% decline in government R&D contract revenue in Q3, even as the firm posted a 22% increase in preliminary revenue to $275,000, compared with Q2.

DGLY Filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas to eliminate threats by Utility Associates Inc. of alleged patent infringement regarding U.S. Patent No. 6,831,556 (the '556 patent).

LVFN The company offered 16.3 million shares at $2.45 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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , MRK

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