In the absence of major earnings reports or economic events,
investor sentiment flagged, dragging benchmarks marginally lower.
Monday's trading session marked an end to the recent rally which
lifted benchmarks to record levels. After several encouraging
economic and earnings reports last week, investors are looking
for a new catalyst which could spur market movement. Energy
stocks were the major loser while the financial sector was the
biggest gainer for the S&P 500.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.2% to close
the day at 13,971.16. The S&P 500 decreased marginally, by
0.1%, to finish yesterday's trading session at 1,517.01. The
tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.1% to end at 3,192.00.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 0.6% to
settle at 12.94. Consolidated volumes on the New York Stock
Exchange, American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were roughly 4.8
billion shares, well below the daily average of 6.45 billion
shares in 2012. Declining stocks outnumbered the advancers on the
NYSE. For 42% stocks that advanced, 54% declined.
Last week, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq touched their
highest levels in the last five and twelve years, respectively.
The rally was brought about by a series of encouraging domestic
and international economic data. Better-than-expected earnings
added further fuel to the rally. Economic data for December shows
that the global economy has improved. China and Germany
experienced growth in exports and imports while the U.S. received
encouraging reports on initial claims and the trade deficit.
On the earnings front, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (NYSE:
) reported a 26% growth in earnings. Despite the company beating
the Street's expectations, shares declined 0.6%. Shares of
Moody's Corporation (NYSE:
) gained 4.9% after losing 22% last week. Moody's shares declined
last week following fears that Moody's will be the next target of
a law suit by the Justice Department after it sued Standard's
Shares of tech-giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:
) gained 1% following news that the company is planning to
increase its product portfolio by introducing a "wristwatch-like
device". The "wristwatch-like device" is expected to have
functions similar to smart phones. The losses in the Nadsaq were
partly recovered after shares of the company increased by 1%.
U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to address the nation
on how he plans to revive the economy. He is expected to bring
about positive changes in infrastructure, education, clean energy
and manufacturing. The President also agreed to negotiate on
expenses incurred on Social Security and Medicare for aging
citizens. However, he expressed his concerns on bringing an end
to long-term tax relief for corporate jet owners, private equity
firms and oil companies. Using this route, he intends to increase
cash balance for the country.
The biggest gainer among the top ten S&P 500 industry
groups was the financial sector. The Financial Select Sector SPDR
(XLF) gained 0.5%. Stocks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:
), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:
), Bank of America Corp (NYSE:
), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:
) and Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:
) gained 0.1%, 1.1%, 0.9%, 1.1% and 0.4%, respectively.
Energy stocks were the major loser among the S&P 500's
industry groups. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) declined
0.5%. Stocks such as Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:
), Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE:
), Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:
), Apache Corporation (NYSE:
) and National-Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:
) declined 0.4% 1.4%, 1.2%, 1%, and 1.2%, respectively.
APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
ANADARKO PETROL (APC): Free Stock Analysis
BANK OF AMER CP (BAC): Free Stock Analysis
BOARDWALK PIPLN (BWP): Free Stock Analysis
CITIGROUP INC (C): Free Stock Analysis Report
GOLDMAN SACHS (GS): Free Stock Analysis
JPMORGAN CHASE (JPM): Free Stock Analysis
MOODYS CORP (MCO): Free Stock Analysis Report
NATL OILWELL VR (NOV): Free Stock Analysis
SCHLUMBERGER LT (SLB): Free Stock Analysis
WELLS FARGO-NEW (WFC): Free Stock Analysis
EXXON MOBIL CRP (XOM): Free Stock Analysis
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