Closing Update: Late Rally Fizzles, Leaving Stocks Lower For A Third Day
Stocks may have found their bottom following several days of declines, bouncing off session lows earlier in the session to finish with only slight losses. The major market gauges were down through much of the day, ignoring generally positive earnings results by U.S. companies and instead continued to respond to financial uncertainty in China and other emerging economies. A steeper than expected increase in new-home sales appear to spook investors.
December new homes sales fell by more than double market expectations, sliding 7.0% to a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 414,000 sales compared the consensus estimate looking for a 3.0% decline to around 450,000 new homes sold. November sales also were revised downward by around 4% from initial reports to 445,000 sales during the month.
For all of 2013, however, new-home sales rose 4.5% year over year to a five-year high of 428,000.
Industrial stocks found support today after Dow component Caterpillar ( CAT ) beating analyst estimates. Technology stocks struggled today, keeping the Nasdaq Composite index well under other market gauges.
Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 41.23 (-0.26%) to 15837.88
S&P 500 down 8.73 (-0.49%) to 1781.56
Nasdaq Composite Index down 44.56 (-1.08%) to 4083.61
Hang Seng Index down 2.11%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.03%
FTSE 100 Index down 3.29%
(+) GAME, Receives non-binding, $1.9-bln going-private proposal letter from Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd, the controlling shareholder of the company, at $6.90 per American depository share - or $3.45 per Class A or Class B share - a 21.2% premium.
(+) MM, Raises Q4 guidance, now sees GAAP revenue of $93 mln to $96 mln, topping analyst consensus by at least $2.84 mln during three months ended Dec. 31. Boosts pro-forma revenue by $9 mln to new range of $106 mln to $109 mln.
(+) VSB, Agrees to be acquired by Yadkin Financial Corp. ( YDKN ) for about $299 million in stock. VSB shareholders are in line to 0.3125 share of YDKN for each share they now own - or based on YDKN's closing price on Friday, $5.41 per share - a 5.3% premium to VSB's close Friday. YDKN was almost 6% higher in recent trade.
(-) GERN, Mayo Clinic closes new-patient enrollment in testing of the company's imetelstat drug candidate.
(-) NTE, Reports 25% decline in Q4 sales, falling to $234.9 mln compared to $312.2 mln in the year-ago period. Per-share earnings during the quarter declined 75% year over year to $0.20. No analyst estimates were available for comparison.
(-) KOOL, ThermoGenesis Drops 17%; Sells 3.3 Mln Shares at Discounted $2.00 in Private Placement