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Closing Update: S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite Eke Out Small Gains But McDonald's Keeps Dow in the Red

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 10/21/2013 4:13:00 PM
Referenced Stocks:

Stocks ended little changed today, drifting throughout much of the session ahead of the Labor Department tomorrow releasing a belated jobs report for September. The S&P 500 briefly rose to an all-time high early in the session while the Nasdaq Composite Index, up four straight sessions, climbed to its best levels since the Internet bubble before losing steam in afternoon trade. Technology stocks performed well during the session while shares of consumer staple and industrial companies also squeezed out small sector gains.

Tomorrow's non-farm payrolls report, coming out 18 days later than its usual first Friday of the month due to the partial government shut-down, is expected to show employers added 185,000 new workers last month, up from 169,000 new hires during August. The unemployment rate is expected to be stable at 7.3%.

Shares of home-builder companies slid today after the National Association of Realtors reported existing home sales fell 1.9% during September to an annualized 5.29 million pace, the first decline in three months as rising mortgage rates and deteriorating consumer confidence pushed more first-time buyers out of the market. August figures also were downwardly revised to a 5.39 million annualized pace from an originally reported 5.48 million.

Crude oil for November delivery settled $1.40 lower at $99.72 per barrel, falling under $100 per barrel after a government inventory report show an unexpectedly large rise in inventories during the week ended Oct. 11. November natural gas also fell, declining 9 cents to $3.67 per 1 million BTU. December gold rose $1.60 to finish at $1,315.80 per ounce while December silver added $22.28 per ounce. Dec copper was unchanged at $3.30 per pound.

Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 7.45 (-0.1%) to 15,392.20

S&P 500 up 0.16 (+0.01%) to 1,744.66

Nasdaq Composite Index up 5.77 (+0.15%) to 3,920.05

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index up 0.42%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 1.62%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.48%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) HAS, The toy-maker reports Q3 revenue of $1.37 billion, topping analyst consensus by $40 million. EPS of $1.31 also topped expectations by $0.02 per share.

(+) TLAB, Agrees to be taken private by Marlin Equity Partners in an $851-mln deal paying $2.45 per share in cash.

(+) FSLR, Awarded contract to supply 1.78 megawatts to Saudi Aramco's King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Saudi Arabia.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) MCD, Q3 revenue of $7.32 billion trails by estimates by $10 million.

(-) PETS, Pet supplies retailer reports Q3 earnings of $0.21 per share, missing Street view by $0.02 per share.

(-) RBS, UK bank regulators OK break-up plan for the troubled bank into a "good bank" and "bad bank".