Closing Update: Stocks Finish Session Lower; S&P 500 Drifts South From Recent Record High

By Staff,

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Stocks fell Tuesday, turning south for good mid-way through today's session as investors took to the sidelines in the absence of market-moving data and more worries over the standoff in Ukraine. All 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 ended in the red, with several sectors giving back moderate gains earlier in the day. Energy stocks had the steepest declines, falling about 1.3% as a group, after crude oil continued its recent slide, with the April contract falling below $100 per barrel mark for the first time in over four weeks in New York Mercantile Exchange trading.

Small-business owners are growing increasingly nervous about the current economy with the National Federal of Small Business today reporting a sharp downturn in its optimism index during February, declining to a 91.4 score from a 94.1 reading in January. The slide also exceeded the market consensus looking for little change in the business-owner attitudes and a 94.0 reading last month.

Also today, wholesale inventories rose 0.6% in January against a 1.9% decline for sales, driving the manufacturing sector's stock-to-sales ratio 2 notches higher to a 1.20 reading, the Commerce Department said today. The largest builds were in the auto, metals and machinery sectors, three groups also experiencing weak monthly sales.

Commodities were mostly lower. Crude oil for April delivery fell $1.09 to settle at $100.03 per barrel while April natural gas slid 5 cents to finish at $4.60 per 1 million BTU. April gold rose $4.90 to $1,346.50 per ounce while May silver slid 9 cents to $20.82 per ounce. May copper lost 8 cents to finish at $2.95 per pound.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 67.43 (-0.41%) to 16,351.25

S&P 500 down 9.54 (-0.51%) to 1,867.63

Nasdaq Composite Index down 27.26 (-0.63%) to 4,307.19


Hang Seng Index up 0.02%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.10%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.14%


(+) LJPC, Announces positive, top-line results from Phase II testing of its GCS-100 in patients with chronic kidney disease, with a 1.5 milligram per square meter dose resulting in statistically significant improvement in kidney function.

(+) FCEL, Narrows Q1 net loss compared to year-ago levels, aided by increased power plant revenue and fuel-cell kit sales. Net loss of $0.06 per share improves on $0.07 loss last year while revenue jumps 22% year over year to $44.4 million.

(+) BYD, Elliott Associates and Elliott International discloses owning 5.38 mln shares of the casino operator, equal to a combined 4.99% stake.


(-) AMZG, Announces plans to sell 10 mln shares of its common stock, giving effect to a 1-for-4 reverse stock split slated to occur concurrently with pricing of the offering.

(-) URBN, Q4 EPS of $0.59 beats by $0.04 per share. Revenue climbs 5.7% to $905.9 mln, in-line with Feb. 10 pre-announcement. The prior consensus was looking for $925.66 mln in quarterly revenue.

(-) INUV, Narrows Q4 net loss compared to year-ago levels, posting $253,000 loss, or $0.01 per share, on $11.4 mln in revenue. Analysts, on average, were looking for a $0.02 per share quarterly profit.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing Commodities
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