Closing Update: Stocks Firm, Pare Gains as NATO Questions Russian Aid Overtures to Revive Geopolitical Concern

Stocks maintained most of Monday's gains resulting from positive geopolitical developments and market-friendly comments from a Fed hawk, but retreated off the session highs with investors remaining cautious concerning Russian diplomatic overtures toward Ukraine.

This afternoon, NATO warned that there was a "high probability" Russia could launch an invasion of Ukraine under the pretext of humanitarian aid. Although global financial markets were all higher in reaction to Russia ending "military exercises" on the Ukraine border, the lingering risk of a Russian offensive threw cold water on today's bullish sentiment.

Global equity markets were all in the green thanks to a cease fire between Israel and Hamas, reportedly successful U.S. airstrikes against ISIS, and encouraging developments in Ukraine. Opening gains in the U.S. were also credited to Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, whose comments concerning the "disappointing" global economic recovery, and systemic changes in the U.S. economy left open the possibility for the Fed to remain accommodative for longer.

Nearly every sector posted gains but biotechs were again the standout as potential treatments for the Ebola virus underpinned the sector. This was followed by strong performances by tech and consumer discretionary stocks.

Here's where the markets stand at the close:


Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 16 points (+0.1%) at 16,569

S&P 500 was up 5 points (+0.3%) at 1,936

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 30 points (+0.7%) at 4,401


FTSE 100 was up 1.00%

Nikkei 225 was up 2.38%

Hang Seng Index was up 1.29%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 1.38%


(+) KMI Will consolidate public units in $70 bln deal, including El Paso Pipeline Partners ( EPB ), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP ) and Kinder Morgan Management ( KMR )

(+) PIP Delaware court Orders SIGA Technologies ( SIGA ) to pay to pay lump sum damages

(+) DRL Enters court-supervised negotiations with Puerto Rican Treasury Department

(+) MNKD Announced deal with Sanofi ( SNY ) for worldwide exclusive licensing agreement for insulin inhaler


(-) SIGA Delaware court Orders SIGA to pay to pay lump sum damages to PharmAthene (PIP)

(-) DVR Reported a Q2 net loss of $0.31 per diluted share vs estimates for $0.05 loss

(-) INO Reported wider loss from Q2 2013

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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