Stocks ended a relatively quiet trading session on Monday with mixed results, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 edged out small gains while the Nasdaq Composite was marginally lower.
Of the 10 S&P 500 sectors, six were higher, with consumer discretionary stocks posting the largest gains with a 0.5% increase. The worst performer was energy, down 0.4% as prices for US benchmark oil futures fell 0.2% and the Brent variety slipped 0.5%.
Trading was subdued for most of the day with investors coming back after the Easter holiday weekend. On the S&P, about 460.6 million shares changed hands, while a week ago volume was 535.6 million and on the last Monday in February, it was 849.5 million. On the Dow, volume of 70.5 million shares traded on Monday compared with last week's 84.4 million.
Economic data was mixed, with data showing personal spending in February rose an expected 0.1% while January was revised down to 0.1% from 0.5%. The National Association of Realtors' February pending home sales index bounced 3.5% to 109.1 in February, the biggest increase in seven months. Investors are now looking ahead to a speech tomorrow by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the economic outlook and monetary policy.
Here's where the markets stood at the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 19.66 points (+0.11%)
S&P 500 was up 1.11 points (+0.05%)
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 6.72 points (-0.14%)
FTSE 100 was down 1.49% on March 23; closed Friday and Monday
Nikkei 225 was up 0.77%
Hang Seng Index was down 1.31% on March 23; closed Friday and Monday
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 0.73%
(+) ALDR (+49.59%) Phase 2 trial of migraine meets primary and secondary endpoints
(+) ACAD (+17.23%) Meeting with FDA on Tuesday regarding UPLAZID treatment for Parkinson's disease-related psychosis
(+) LEU (+6.85%) Signed a $2.3 million contract for uranium centrifuge work at Oak Ridge National Lab
(+) TWX (+3.61%) 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' topped weekend box offices, despite poor reviews
(+) GE (+1.22%) Barron's reports Citigroup analysts commented favorably on gas turbine plant in South Carolina
(-) VSCP (-10.71%) Biotelemetry ( BEAT ) to buy VirtualScopics for $15.5 million
(-) P (-12.17%) CEO Brian McAndrews to be replaced by founder Tim Westergren, Mike Herring named CFO and Sara Clemens as COO
(-) EGRX (-2.15%) Bendeka failed to gain seven-year orphan-drug exclusivity status from FDA
(-) MOLG (-8.75%) Reports Q4 loss that widened from a year earlier
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