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Stocks Hung Out to Dry Following NASDAQ 5000 Party


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

US stocks backed off today following Monday's rally, which saw the NASDAQ Composite reach 5000 for the first time since the year 2000.

Sentiment indicator including the ISE Index, AAII Sentiment Survey, and the Investors Intelligence Sentiment Index have been reading very bullish as of late, which coud be indicative of a near-term top following the S&P 500's 5.5% gain in February

Today, the S&P fell 0.45% to 2107.78, while the NASDAQ closed at 4979.90, down 0.56%.

Auto sales were weak in February, with Ford (F) being a notable disappointment. According to Wards, seasonally adjusted annualized total industry sales were 16.16 million, below the 16.7 million expected by economists.

The economic calendar was light today.

The February ISM New York Index was 63.1, an improvement from last month's 44.5 reading.

And the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index rose to 49.1 in March vs. the expected 47.8.

Best Buy (BBY) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, raised its dividend, and also said it would resume its dormant share repurchase program. Best Buy shares rose 1.4% today.

Pharmaceutical giant Actavis (ACT) began its landmark $21 billion bond sale today. Due to $90 billion worth of orders, yield on the bonds were lower-than-expected. Actavis is floating the debt to finance its acqusition of Allergan (AGN).

European markets were down despite solid economic data. Eurozone Core Inflation, German Retail Sales, and Swiss GDP were all ahead of expectations.

Chinese equities were notably weak due to fears of oversupply from an overheated IPO market, and the Shanghai Composite fell 2.2%.

Crude oil rose intraday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a hard-hitting speech on Iran in front of Congress, but gave up some of the gains into the close.

Monday's Financial Outlook

Wednesday will offer plenty of news to wade through, including a host of economic data. MBA Mortgage Applications, ADP Employment, Markit PMI, ISM Services, and Crude Oil Inventories will be reported in the morning.

Traders will be closely watching the ADP and ISM reports for signs of economic strength, which could put the rate hike discussion front and center.

Canada will announce its interest rate decision.

In earnings, retailers Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), American Eagle (AEO), and PetSmart (PETM) will report earnings before the open.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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