Stocks Squeeze Out Small Gain After Spending Day in Negative Territory

Stocks flatlined into Tuesday's close, but a late move for the Dow Industrials landed it back in positive territory--barely. It was a defensive session after several consecutive record highs encouraged nervous investors to take profits. Market friendly inventory and employment data mitigated early pressure, but the sluggish grind higher still left the major indices in the red for nearly the entire day. Industrials took the brunt of Tuesday's profit-taking, but semiconductor stocks were surprisingly immune to broader market weakness with a rally in Applied Micro Circuits ( AMCC ) taking the sector higher after Canaccord gave the stock a Buy rating.

Although today's economic data was not top-tier, it was market-friendly enough to help erase some of the opening losses. Wholesale inventories and sales both rose by more than street estimates, translating into upward revisions to second quarter GDP.

Also, the outlook for job seekers continues to improve as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employers had 4.5 million job openings in April, beating estimates for 4.025 million openings, and topping March's 4.014 million. That lowered the ratio of job-seekers to available jobs to 2.2 from 2.5 in March.

Here's where the markets stand at the close:


Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 2.82 (+0.02%) at 16,945

S&P 500 was down 0.48 point (-0.03%) at 1,950

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.75 point (+0.04%) at 4,338


FTSE 100 was down 0.02%

Nikkei 225 was down 0.85%

Hang Seng Index was up 0.86%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 1.08%


(+) ACHN Upgraded by JMP Securities to Market Outperform, provided update on hepatitis C drug trials

(+) RCPT Multiple sclerosis treatment met main goal in mid-stage trial

(+) TLOG Extend Monday's gains on positive results from Birinapant


(-) RSH Reported a wider than expected loss

(-) FRAN Revenue and earnings were below analyst estimates

(-) OPTT Fires CEO and starts internal probe of agreement between Victorian Wave and Australian Renewable Energy Agency

(-) COUP Goldman downgrades to Sell

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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