Benchmarks finished Friday's trading session slightly higher,
following mixed economic numbers and speculation of weak sales from
a major retail company. The S&P 500 maintained its winning
streak for the seventh week in a row. Meanwhile, industrial
production for January declined, dampening investor sentiment.
Among the top ten S&P 500 industry groups, the Energy sector
was the biggest loser and healthcare stocks were the major
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) increased 0.1% to close
the day at 13,984.66. The S&P 500 increased 0.32 point to
finish Friday's trading session at 1,521.70. The tech-laden Nasdaq
Composite Index gained 0.1% to end at 3,200.17. The fear-gauge CBOE
Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 1.6% to settle at 12.46.
Consolidated volumes on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock
Exchange and Nasdaq were roughly 6.7 billion shares, above the
daily average of 6.45 billion shares in 2012. Declining stocks
outnumbered the advancing stocks. For the 44% that advanced, 52%
The blue-chip index and the Nasdaq ended slightly lower for the
week but the S&P 500 eked out small gains. The S&P 500
finished in the green for the seventh week in a row. Last week's
trading session started on a positive note due to
better-than-expected earnings and an improvement in international
economic numbers. Tuesday's trading session saw the Dow and the
S&P 500 close at five-year highs in anticipation of optimism
from President Barack Obama's speech. However, the State of the
Union speech did not have any major effect on Wednesday's session.
Investor sentiment was also dampened after the GDPs of the Euro
zone and Japan contracted.
On the domestic front, according to the Board of Governors of
the Federal Reserve System, Industrial Production for the month of
January decreased 0.1% versus an increase of 0.4% in December 2012.
This was contrary to the consensus estimate of an increase 0.2%. In
January, manufacturing output decreased 0.4%, production from mines
was down 1.0%, while utilities output increased 3.5%.
Meanwhile, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York,
the general business condition index increased to 10.04 for
February versus the reading of -7.8 in January. Manufacturing
activity in New York increased for the first time since 2012
summer. New orders increased to 13.3 while shipments increased to
13.1. The employment index increased for the third month in a row
to 8.1. This was the first time since September 2012 that the
employment index was positive.
Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT ) decreased about
2.2% after Bloomberg said the company has began February sales on a
poor note. The company is due to release its quarterly results this
week. Shares of Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE: BKW ) surged 4.7% after
it declared quarterly results better than the Street's
expectations. The earnings of the company doubled for the reported
quarter. The company also increased its dividend to 5 cents a
share, up 25%.
The energy sector had a bad day and emerged as the biggest loser
among the S&P 500 industry groups. The Energy Select Sector
SPDR (XLE) lost 1.2%. Stocks such as Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:
XOM ), Chevron
Corporation (NYSE: CVX ), Marathon Oil
Corporation (NYSE: MRO ), Suncor Energy
Inc. (NYSE: SU ) and
Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES ) declined 0.2%,
0.7%, 1.5%, 1.8% and 1.4%, respectively.
The health care sector was the major gainer among the S&P
500 industry groups and the Health Care SPDR (XLV) gained 0.2%.
Stocks such as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ), Pfizer Inc.
(NYSE: PFE ), Merck
& Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK ), Endo Health
Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) and Mylan Inc.
(NASDAQ: MYL ) added
0.5%, 0.9%, 0.6%, 1.0% and 0.2%, respectively.BURGER KING WWD (BKW): Free Stock Analysis
ReportCHEVRON CORP (CVX): Free Stock Analysis ReportENDO PHARMACEUT (ENDP): Free Stock Analysis
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ReportMYLAN INC (MYL): Free Stock Analysis ReportPFIZER INC (PFE): Free Stock Analysis ReportSUNCOR ENERGY (SU): Free Stock Analysis ReportWAL-MART STORES (WMT): Free Stock Analysis
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