Closing Update: Stocks Find Direction Late, Falling to Session Lows Near Close

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Stocks turned solidly and broadly lower Tuesday afternoon, retreating following a listless first half of the session that followed new economic data packed with conflicting views of the housing industry. Blue-chips suffered the steepest declines in the afternoon slump, down over 100 points for the worst performance in a month. The broader S&P 500 only narrowly trailed the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the slide. Eight of 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 fell, with shares of healthcare and utility companies posting small gains in increasingly cautious trade.

In economic news, the S&P Case-Shiller index of housing prices in 20 U.S. cities climbed 1.1%, topping the market consensus expecting a 0.8% advance. Prices increased in all 20 cities.

But the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that housing prices were flat in April. Economists polled by Econoday had expected a 0.5% gain.

New-home sales surged 18.6% in May to an annualized rate of 504,000 units, far better than estimates for 441,000 units.

Also today, the Conference Board's index of consumer attitudes came in above expectations, climbing another 3 points over May levels to final reading of 85.2 this month.

Crude oil for August delivery reversed its earlier gain, settling 17 cents lower at $106.01 per barrel while July natural gas was up 8 cents to $4.53 per 1 million BTU. August gold added $2.80 to settle at $1,321.20 per ounce while July silver rose 13 cents to $21.05 per ounce. July copper was unchanged at $3.15 per pound.

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

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 119 (-0.7%) to 16,818

S&P 500 down 12.63 (-0.6%) to 1,949

Nasdaq Composite Index down 18.32 (-0.4%) to 4,350.36

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index up 0.33%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.47%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.20%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) VRTX, Rises to all-time high after saying a combination of its Kalydeco and lumacaftor drug candidates performed well during late-stage testing in patients with the most common form of cystic fibrosis.

(+) XGTI, Teaming with prime contractor Science Applications International ( SAIC ) as a subcontractor on a $497 mln, five-year contract award by the U.S. Army for space-based and terrestrial networking and communications services.

(+) XNET, Consumer Internet platform prices initial public offering of 7.315 mln American depositary shares of its common stock at $12 apiece, topping its expected range of $9 to $11 a share.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) OHRP, Said 65% of patients with wet aged-related macular degeneration treated with Squalamine eye drops plus Lucentis demonstrated improved visual acuity compared with patients treated with a placebo and Lucentis during Phase II testing.

(-) GIGA, Narrows fiscal Q4 net loss to $1.3 mln, or $0.25 per share, from $1.6 mln loss in year-ago quarter. Net sales rise 3.5% year over year to $2.9 mln. No analyst estimates were available for comparison.

(-) WWWW, Google ( GOOG ) said it plans to move into domain-name registry business, launching a beta site and becoming a direct WWWW competitor. Following GOOG's announcement, B. Riley cut its rating for WWWW shares to Neutral from Buy.



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

Referenced Stocks: SAIC , GOOG

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