Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Stocks Trade Higher Ahead of News-Heavy Weekend


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

Stocks posted gains on Friday as the biotech sector heated up.

The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (NBI) climbed past the 3,000 level for the first time ever, finishing up 1.8% at 3,020.25. The sector was boosted by Gilead (GILD), which rose 3.3% after the release of sales data for its Harvoni Hepatitis C treatment.

The boom in biotech boosted the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV), which was up 1.4%, making it the best performer among the major S&P sector ETF's.

And just as the market fell late yesterday on an Ebola scare in New York City, it benefited today after Ebola sufferer Nina Pham was declared cured of the disease. 

By day's end, the S&P 500 (SPX) was 0.7% higher at 1,964.58.

That mark was slightly above Thursday's intraday high, and just below the widely-watched 50-day moving average, which sits at 1,966.94.

The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) aided the bulls' case with a 0.8% gain, aided by Procter & Gamble's (PG) 2.3% post-earnings rally. Procter's earnings were slightly below expectations, but investors were encouraged by its decision to divest its Duracell battery business, which should boost growth.
Index heavyweight Microsoft (MSFT) was another force in the upward action, rising 2.5% on its surprisingly strong fiscal first-quarter results.

On the negative side, the Russell 2000 (RUT) underperformed, up just 0.2%. And energy stocks were in the red as oil prices slid.

Key momentum name (AMZN) fell 8.3% after announcing disappointing third-quarter results and fourth-quarter guidance after the close Thursday. Fellow Internet play Pandora (P) also took a major post-earnings hit as user metrics disappointed Wall Street.

On the economics front, New Home Sales rose to 467,000, slightly missing the 470,000 consensus. August's figure was revised down to 466,000 from 504,000.

Monday's Financial Outlook

September Pending Home Sales will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.

A host of companies will report earnings Monday, including Merck (MRK), Seagate Technology (STX), and Franklin Resources (BEN) before the open, and Amgen (AMGN), Hartford Financial (HIG), and Twitter (TWTR) after the close.

There is a fair amount of headline risk this weekend. This includes geopolitical news out of the Middle East and Russia/Ukraine, Ebola, and Brazil's Presidential election, which will be held this Sunday.

Any of these items could impact stock and commodity prices Monday.

Twitter: @Minyanville

Follow the markets all day every day with a FREE 14 day trial to Buzz & Banter. Over 30 professional traders share their ideas in real-time. Learn more.
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Featured Videos