Closing Update: Stocks End Little Changed; Consumer Shares Pace Gains, Offset by Energy Declines

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U.S. stocks ended narrowly mixed Monday, with the Dow Industrials holding on to a small gain, but the broader S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite under water after November pending home sales rose less than expected, according to a National Association of Realtors report today.

Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes increased 0.2% last month, lagging the 1.0% rise that market experts polled by Bloomberg were expecting. The industry group also said October sales fell more than first reported, declining 1.2%. Both figures rekindled fears that Federal Reserve plans to cut back on its bond-buying program and the subsequent rise in interest rates could stall a recovery for the residential real estate market.

Industry sectors in the S&P 500 were split roughly equally between winners and losers, with the best gains coming among shares of consumer discretionary and basic materials companies. Consumer staple, utility and health care stocks - traditionally seen as defensive sectors - also are posting small gains.

Energy stocks were lower today, matching declines in crude oil and natural gas futures in commodities trade. Crude oil for February delivery dropped $1.03 at $99.29 per barrel while February natural gas was down 6 cents to $4.43 per 1 million BTU. Metals also were lower today, with February gold slipping $10.60 to $1203.70 per ounce while March silver declined 43 cents to $19.63 per ounce. Copper was little changed at $3.38 per pound.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at mid-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Index up 25.94 (+0.16%) to 16,504.35

S&P 500 down 0.32 (-0.02%) to 1,841.08

Nasdaq Composite Index down 2.40 (-0.06%) to 4,154.20

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index up 0.01%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.18%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.29%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) ELMD, Receives FDA market clearance for its next-generation SmartVest Airway Clearance System, a high-frequency chest wall oscillation device for people with cystic fibrosis and other breathing difficulties.

(+) KNDI, Shares climb to all-time record after Forbes magazine publishes positive weekend article about the company's electric car-sharing project in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, adding to recent momentum.

(+) CTB, Reverses earlier declines that followed the tire company scrapping a proposed $2.5-bln buyout by Apollo Tyres, saying financing for the deal is no longer feasible after a valuation disagreement with its Indian rival.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) MYGN, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirms reimbursement cuts for the company's genetic tests for breast-cancer vulnerability. JMP Securities and Mizuho both downgrade the stock; Piper Jaffray and Leerink Swann cut price targets.

(-) WPCS, Receives notice of resignation from CohnReznick LLP, the company's independent registered public accounting firm.

(-) WFC, Resolves dispute with Fannie Mae ( FNMA ) over repurchase demands on loans originated prior to 2009, making a one-time cash payment of $541 mln to FNMA. FNMA shares were higher today.



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: FNMA

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