Closing Update: Stocks Erase Gains on Technical Resistance, Profit-Taking

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Stocks started to turn negative into the last few hours of trading, corresponding a challenge to key 1885 resistance in the S&P 500, a level that has frustrated bulls for more than two weeks. This triggered profit-taking across Wall Street, erasing most of today's triple-digit gain in the Dow Industrials which resulted from dovish comments from central bankers and bullish initial jobless claims.

The Nasdaq Composite, which was outperforming blue-chips for most of the day on a rebound in social-media and biotech stocks, remains in negative territory, extending its losing streak for a third day. The Dow, however, pulled off the lows and closed higher for a second straight day.

The European Central Bank was the catalyst for today's gains after ECB President Mario Draghi said that the central bank "will act swiftly" to address the deflationary pressure on the economy stemming from the continued appreciation in the euro. Coupled with dovish comments concerning U.S. interest rate policy from Fed Chair Yellen, global stocks advanced, driving the Dow just shy of its record high.

The only economic data for today was weekly initial jobless claims which fell by a greater-than-expected 26,000 to 319,000 for the week ended May 3.

Here's where the markets stand at the close:

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 32 points (+0.2%) at 16,550

S&P 500 was down 2.6 points (-0.1%) at 1,875.63

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 16.18 points (-0.4%) at 4,051.50

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 0.63%

Nikkei 225 was up 0.93%

Hang Seng Index was up 0.42%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.26%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) WAC Q1 Revenue of $349.9 million was up from year ago $314 million

(+) ENG Swung to a profit of $1.8 million from a loss of $1 million

(+) AMPE Citigroup initiated coverage with a Buy rating

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) RMG Reported a Q1 loss on a 16% drop in revenue

(-) LIOX Missed revenue estimates

(-) MCP Reported a wider than expected loss



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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