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Close Update: Dow Ekes Out Modest Gain, But Nasdaq Extends Losing Streak as Biotechs Turn Defensive

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed back at the highs of the day after improved consumer confidence coupled with an early rebound in biotechs and commodity-based stocks eased investors' worries over the U.S. economy. The S&P 500 also closed with a modest gain on strength in the energy sector, snapping a five-day losing streak.

The Nasdaq was the outlier after biotechs rotated back to the downside into the final hours of trade, driving the index back to its session lows. Besides a flurry of activity after Tuesday's economic data that included bullish consumer confidence and a key home price index, trading was quiet as Wall Street braced for employment and manufacturing data later this week.

Wall Street was lower at the open but snapped to the session highs by an unexpected increase in the consumer confidence index to 103.0 in September from 101.3 the month prior, putting the Dow back over 16,000. Although biotechs were on the plus side during the early part of the day, the beaten down sector started to unravel late in the day, dragging the Nasdaq back into the red for the sixth day in a row and to its lowest level since August 21.

Wednesday's economic data, as well as a speech later in the day from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, was also behind today's subdued tone. Trading kicks off on Wednesday with ADP private payrolls (expected +190,000), a critical precursor to the pivotal non-farm payroll report. The Chicago Purchasing Manager's Index is forecast to decline slightly to 53.6 from 54.4 in August.

Here's where the markets stood at the close:

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 47.24 points (+0.30%)

S&P 500 was up 2.32 points (+0.12%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 26.65 points (-0.59%)

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was down 0.83%

Nikkei 225 was down 4.05%

Hang Seng Index was down 2.97%

Shanghai China Composite Index was down 2.02%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) PNX (+140.P%) Agrees to $217.2 mln buyout offer from Nassau Reinsurance

(+) CERE (+27.49%) Announces licensing agreement with KWS SAAT

(+) RITT (+16.55%) Swings to Q2 profit, revenue increases 172%

(+) RJET (+12.85%) Upgraded at Deutsche Bank to buy from hold, raised PT by $3

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) ESPR (-47.76%) Plans to conduct multiple Phase 3 clinical trials that will separately evaluate patients with statin intolerance

(-) ZSAN (-34.02%) Decided to discontinue development of its Daily ZP-PTH treatment for severe osteoporosis, ending a collaboration with Eli Lilly ( LLY ).

(-) TISI (-19.34%) Pre-reports fiscal Q1 below expectations, cuts fiscal 2016 EPS guidance

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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