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Fuel Cell Stocks Lose Energy, Dampening Index Rally


End of Day Roundup 03/11: Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

Copper and iron prices came under pressure again today as news circulated that another Chinese electric company may be facing imminent default. Both commodities have been under significant stress since last Friday's Chinese trade data was released, showing a severe drop in copper imports and steel exports. Copper futures fell 2.72% in today's trading. Chinese iron ore spot prices are down 10.27% since last Thursday.

US equities briefly broke to new highs in early trading, but sustained weakness for the rest of the session. In particular, recent high-flying fuel cell manufacturers and distributors Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG), Ballard Power (NASDAQ:BLDP), and FuelCell (NASDAQ:FCEL) all reversed as much as 40% from their intraday highs. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) closed down 0.61% today led by declines in energy- and materials-sector stocks.

The Russian MICEX (MCX:MICEXINDEXCF) declined 2.29% in today's session following reports that NATO was conducting reconnaissance overflights near Crimea, and Ukraine's government stated that it would mobilize 20,000 troops to protect its borders from Russian incursions.

US same-store sales, according to Johnson/Redbook, rose 2.5% year-over-year in the week ending March 8 thanks to increased consumer traffic. Trade organization ICSC sees same-store sales rising 3% in March from a year ago. Wal-Mart's (NYSE:WMT) CFO Charles Holley said at a Bank of America conference that the company had seen very good sales since mid-February as the weather had improved.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

There will be no major economic reports tomorrow. The weekly Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage applications index will be released at 7:00 a.m. EDT. The Treasury will reopen $21 billion in 10-year notes at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

January eurozone industrial production is scheduled to be reported tomorrow morning in addition to Japan's February consumer confidence index. Consumer confidence is expected to decline modestly to 40.0 from 40.5 in January.

The only notable earnings report scheduled for tomorrow is Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN).

Twitter: @Minyanville

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