Markets

Closing Update: Late Bounce Seals First Higher Close For Stocks in Four Sessions; Consumer Staples, Tech Stocks Pace Recovery

Stocks closed higher Monday, ending a roller-coaster session on a positive note and snapping a steep, three-day slide that carried the major market indices below their 200-day moving averages. A late uptick for technology stocks helped seal the higher close, overcoming a 1% drop for Dow component Apple ( AAPL ), while shares of consumer staples and health care companies steadily added to a day-long advance, reflecting the largely defensive tone for today's trading.

Energy stocks also carved out a moderate gain in volatile trading, reversing a hard retreat this morning after crude oil prices dropped to an 11-year low under $35 per barrel and natural gas prices fell roughly 5%, reaching their lowest price since 1999, around $1.90 per 1 million BTU. But crude prices turned higher by mid-morning, carrying energy stocks in tow, although natural gas continued to stagger throughout the day as unusually warm weather dominated large portions of the country, stifling demand.

Overall, nine of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 finished with gains, with shares of materials and mining companies the lone losers as precious metals fell in commodities trade. Financial stocks also lagged for the most of the day, just edging into the black just before the close, with the recent decline in energy and metals prices fueling worries that deflationary forces could yet dissuade the Federal Reserve to table an interest-rate increase at its policy meeting later this week.

Crude oil for January delivery settled 69 cents higher at $36.31 per barrel while January natural gas futures dropped 10 cents lower at $1.89 per 1 million BTU. February gold fell $12.30 to $1,063.70 per ounce while March copper slipped a penny to $2.11 per pound.

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

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 103.29 (+0.60%) to 17,368.50

S&P 500 up 9.57 (+0.48%) to 2,021.94

Nasdaq Composite Index 18.76 (+0.38%) to 4,952.23

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index down 0.72%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 2.51%

FTSE 100 Index down 1.32%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) NRX, Receives FDA clearance of its Investigational New Drug application for a clinical trial of its intravenous pyridorin product candidate for treating acute kidney injury.

(+) BPMX, Scheduled to report Q3 financial results after the close of Monday's regular session. Analysts, on average, are expecting BPMX to post a $0.19 per share net loss on around $20,000 in revenue.

(+) FXCM, Says discussions with Leucadia continuing. Authorizes $130 mln stock buyback program, which still has $65.8 mln remaining. Certain senior managers indicated they also may buy stock independent of the company.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) ATRA, PINTA 745 drug candidate fails to meet primary target during Phase II proof-of-concept trial to treat protein-energy wasting in patients with end-stage kidney disease.

(-) GPRO, Reduced to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, which also cut its price target for the company's stock by $10 to $12 a share.

(-) AMID, Executive board chairman and CEO Steve Bergstrom retires but wil remain a board member. Names former Enable Midstream Partners LP Chief Executive Lynn Bourdon to be CEO and board chairman.

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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