Markets

Closing Update: Biotechs Weigh on S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite Indices; Dow Scratches Out Small Gain

Stocks finished mixed on Tuesday, with a new selloff for biotech and health care stocks working to stall a three-day advance for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices. Most industry sectors in the S&P 500 lost ground, although a big rise for crude oil and precious metals translated into large gains for energy and mining stocks. Technology stocks also hung on a small rise today.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended in the plus column for a third straight day, led by a rally for component stock DuPont ( DD ) after CEO and Board Chairwoman Ella Kullman said she would retire next week, giving in to pressure by several activist hedge funds. Tech companies Apple ( AAPL ), Cisco ( CSCO ) and Intel ( INTC ) also carried blue-chips higher, overcoming declines for health care companies in the Dow.

The International Monetary Fund earlier contributed to today's defensive market after trimming its global growth forecast while a 15% increase in the U.S. trade deficit also was working to keep pressure on stocks. Economic data today also was mostly bearish with the U.S. trade deficit rising 15% over year-ago levels.

Crude oil for November delivery settled $2.27 higher at $48.53 per barrel while November natural gas futures rose 2 cents higher to $2.47 per 1 million BTU. December gold rose $8.70 to $1.146.80 per ounce.

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

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 13.76 (+0.08%) to 16,790.19

S&P 500 down 7.13 (-0.36%) to 1,979.92

Nasdaq Composite Index down 32.90 (-0.69%) to 4,748.36

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index down 0.10%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.48%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.43%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) PMCS, Agrees to $2 bln buyout offer from SkyWorks ( SWKS ), which will pay $10.50 for each PMCS share, a 36.5% premium over Monday's closing price for the stock.

(+) WGBS, Announces commercial launch and presentation of data from its ICELL8 Single-Cell System at the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting.

(+) UNT, Doubles FY15 production forecast, now expecting its oil and natural gas segment to grow between 6% to 8% this year compared with prior projections looking for 2% to 4% growth.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) EXAS, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issues draft recommendation for colon cancer screenings that doesn't include the copany's Cologuard stool-based DNA screening test.

(-) RDWR, Trims Q3 revenue forecast to $48 mln from prior view looking for $57 mln to $59 mln and trailing the $57.98 mln consensus. Also cuts EPS outlook to $0.10 from $0.23 to $0.24 per share, missing $0.24 per share consensus.

(-) TCS, Adjusted Q2 EPS of $0.06 misses by $0.01 per share. Revenues rises 1.2% to $195.5 mln, lagging Street view looking for $197.68 mln in revenue.

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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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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