Closing Update: An Apple A Day Keeps The Bears Away, But Ukraine Sours Broader Stock Gains
The tech-led gains in the equity market at the open were compromised Thursday afternoon after developments from Ukraine spooked risk-adverse investors and left equities mixed at the close. Early gains were fueled by a rally in Apple ( AAPL ) and Facebook ( FB ) when both reported better than expected earnings. With durable goods orders and a flurry of positive earnings reaffirming the economy's rebound from the winter, the market seemed positioned to reverse Wednesday's small losses.
But by midday, the mood soured when reports of Russian troop activity on the Ukraine border spooked Wall Street, sending the Nasdaq spiraling lower. The market recovered, but could not recover its earlier momentum and only squeezed out small gains.
Although today's data was mixed, the much better than expected print on durable goods orders of 2.6% overshadowed a greater than expected increase in new jobless claims. Excluding transportation orders, durable goods orders rose 2.0%, more than twice what the street was expecting.
Here's where the markets stand at the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Index was flat at 16,501
S&P 500 was up 3 (+0.2%) at 1,878
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 21 (+0.5%) at 4,148
FTSE 100 was up 0.42%
Nikkei 225 was down 0.97%
Hang Seng Index was up 0.24%
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 0.50%
(+) ZMH Announced plans to acquire Biomet in $13.3 bln deal and beat earnings estimates
(+) KOOL Maxim Group initiated coverage with a buy rating and a price target of $7
(+) SGYP Investors anticipate positive data on clinical trial
(-) UAL Reported a wider Q1 loss from a year ago.
(-) EROC Suspending its quarterly distributions ahead of a $1.3 billion deal transferring its midstream business to Regency Energy Partners ( RGP ).
(-) XLNX Credit Suisse downgrades to Neutral from Outperform