closing bell

Dow Ends Down 14, Nasdaq Picks Up 5

Encouraging news about manufacturing provided an early boost to stocks on Monday, but stocks fell later after a report on the pace of home sales fell short of expectations.
By
Associated Press,

U.S. stocks meandered between small gains and losses Monday, cooling off after a rally that had pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 index above 1,500 for the first time since December 2007. Encouraging news about manufacturing provided an early boost, but stocks fell later after a report on the pace of home sales fell short of expectations.

The government said before trading began that orders for long-lasting goods rose in December by 4.6 percent, helped by a 10 percent gain in orders for new aircraft. The report was a sign of strength for the manufacturing sector, a crucial driver of economic growth.

Story continues after the ad

Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said separately that its fourth-quarter net income exceeded analysts' expectations, after adjusting for the cost of a soured deal to buy a Chinese maker of roofing supports for mines. Caterpillar said it took a big charge in the quarter because the Chinese company had misrepresented its finances.

Caterpillar Inc. said it expects growth in China to improve without regaining the levels seen in 2010 or 2011. The stock was the biggest gainer in the Dow Jones industrial average, closing up $1.87, or 2 percent, at $97.45.

The Dow Jones transportation index, a proxy for future economic activity, edged higher, notching its tenth straight increase and its twelfth gain in the past 13 trading days.

A half-hour after trading began, the National Association of Realtors said that its index of pending home sales fell in December, suggesting that sales of previously occupied homes may slow in the coming months. The report, which was weaker than many economists had expected, helped push stocks lower for much of the morning. They were roughly flat by midday, and spent the afternoon swapping small bumps and dips.

Brand Connections

The Dow closed down 14.05 points, or 0.1 percent, at 13,881.93. The S&P 500 fell 2.78, or 0.2 percent, to 1,500.18. The Nasdaq composite index added 4.59, or 0.2 percent, to 3,154.

The Dow and the S&P 500 are rapidly approaching their all-time closing highs, reached on Oct. 9, 2007. The Dow is about 282 points below its high of 14,164.53; the S&P 500 is 65 points shy of its record of 1,565.

Economic data may be less likely to boost the indexes because traders have become harder to impress as the data have strengthened in recent weeks, said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist with PNC Asset Management Group.

"Before, even if you came in just at expectations, that was like a victory," he said. Because of the market's recent upturn, he said, "you get less of a pop for just making the numbers."

Among companies in the S&P 500 that reported earnings Monday, Biogen Idec Inc. said its fourth-quarter net income slipped nearly 3 percent because of a tax charge and higher expenses. Still, the biotech drug maker rose $3.79, or 2.6 percent, to $149.99.

Roper Industries Inc., which makes medical and industrial equipment, said its fourth-quarter net income rose 18 percent. But the company issued mixed guidance for the current quarter and full year 2013. It fell 33 cents to $118.50.

Oil company Hess Inc. was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, adding 6.1 percent after the company said it plans to sell its U.S. terminal network, shutter its New Jersey refinery and continue shifting its focus to exploration and production. Hess also said that the hedge fund Elliott Associates plans to seek regulatory approval to buy a major stake in the company. Hess rose $3.58 to $62.48.

Several big tech companies reported their results after the market closed and saw big price swings in after-hours trading:

- Web portal Yahoo Inc. rose 81 cents, or 4 percent, to $21.12 after saying its fourth-quarter earnings topped analyst estimates as an upturn in its international investments helped end a three-year revenue slump.

- Hard disk maker Seagate Technology PLC said it beat analysts' estimates in its results for the fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 28. It rose 69 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $38.10 after hours.

- Cloud computing provider VMWare Inc. said its net income edged higher, but the company announced guidance that was far weaker than analysts had expected. VMWare lost $10.83, or 11 percent, to $87.49 after hours.

Strong corporate earnings helped push the S&P 500 through the 1,500 milestone Friday after several calm, relatively news-free weeks. In addition to companies' performance, traders have been encouraged by signals that housing market is improving steadily and hiring is picking up, albeit slowly.

There will plenty of fresh data to drive trading this week, including retail sales, economic growth and the government's report on hiring and employment in January, which is due out Friday. More than one-fifth of the companies in the S&P 500 will report fourth-quarter earnings this week.

Stone said stocks are trading sideways in part because many investors are awaiting economic reports later this week, especially the employment report. There is agreement among economists and analysts that the economy slowed in the fourth quarter, he said, and this week's numbers will help answer the question of "how slow, and how much did it impact employment."

Tags

Comments (0) -

Marketshare Blog Playout Blog

Twitter

TVNewsCheck

Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 26, 2016
  • 1.
    4.4/12
  • 2.
    2.8/8
  • 3.
    2.5/7
  • 4.
    1.5/4
  • 5.
    0.8/2
  • 6.
    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

This advertisement will close automatically in  second(s). You will see this ad no more than once a day. Skip ad