Markets

Closing Update: Stocks Pause After Big Run-Up Last Week, Closing With Slim Losses

Stocks dipped Monday, giving back earlier gains as traders failed to extend the best advances of the year that were recorded in last week's sessions. Energy stocks retreated from their earlier advance Monday after crude oil finished lower for a third day in a row and crude oil returned from its prior rise that followed Saudi Arabia saying it would work with other countries to stabilize prices.

Mostly bearish economic news also weighed on share prices. Existing home sales fell 3.4% during October to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million, the National Association of Realtors said, declining from September's 5.55 million annualized pace and trailing Wall Street expectations for a much smaller decline to a 5.50 million annualized rate.

Manufacturing activity measured by the Markit Purchasing Manager's Index fell to a 25-month low in November to a 52.6 flash reading, lagging expert opinion looking for a small gain to a 54.5 reading.

The one piece of mildly positive economic data was provided by the Chicago Fed, which reported a rise to a negative 0.04 reading for its national activity index during October from a negative 0.37 score in September. But that too missed expectations for a positive 0.08 reading.

Most sectors in the S&P 500 closed lower, including a 0.9% decline for shares of utility companies. Financial and health care slid from their break-even marks throughout much of the session to finish with moderate declines. Consumer staple companies resisted the downward bias, hanging on to nearly all of their earlier advances while energy stocks also posted gains despite crude oil eventually settling slightly lower today.

Crude oil for January delivery settled 15 cents lower at $41.75 per barrel while January natural gas futures rose 5 cents to $2.34 per 1 million BTU. February gold fell $9.60, finishing at 1,066.80 per ounce.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at the close:

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 31.13 (-0.17%) to 17,792.68

S&P 500 down 2.58 (-0.12%) to 2,086.59

Nasdaq Composite Index down 2.44 (-0.05%) to 5,102.48

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index down 0.39%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.56%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.46%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) EFUT, Q3 revenue rises 6% from last year to RMB36.1 mln ($5.7 mln). Adjusted net loss expands to RMB700,000 ($100,000), or $RMB0.15 ($0.02) per share from RMB500,00 and RMB0.13 per share loss last year. No analyst estimates were available.

(+) AEZS, Maxim Group changes price target from $200 to $11 a share while keeping its Buy rating for the stock. Move follows 100-for-1 reverse stock split on Friday.

(+) CANF, Expands likely patient population for its CF102 drug candidate, adding patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis to its current Phase II testing in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) ARP, Agrees to slash yearly distribution to $0.15 per unit from $1.30 per unit previously in exchange for certain borrowing concessions from its lenders. Revised borrowing base also reduced by $50 mln, or 6.7% from prior level to $700 mln.

(-) APDN, Slates $7.73 mln private placement of of 2.5 mln shares at $3.49 each, an 18.3% discount to Friday's closing price. Also sells warrants to purchase 1.25 mln shares exercisable at $4.30 per share for 1 cent per warrant, or $12.500 overall.

(-) PRQR, Falls to all-time low after saying it was postponing the likely release of top-line data from Phase Ib testing of its prospective drug treatment for Cystic Fibrosis until at least mid-2016 due to delays in trial enrollment.

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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