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S&P 500 Continues Along Exceedingly Tight Range

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

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Stocks traded sideways in a repeat of recent action, with a midday dip before a squeeze higher to finish flat.

The S&P 500 finished up just 0.03%, marking the fourth day in a row that its daily change was less than 0.1%.

Commodities showed improvement today, with crude oil, natural gas, and gold notching 2%+ gains. Copper also recovered somewhat from yesterday's losses.

Energy and gold stocks followed along and were among the market's best performing sectors, along with social media and Chinese tech names.

The bounce in oil took some traders by surprise. The International Energy Agency said just this morning that prices could continued dropping next year, assuming no supply shock.

Index leader Apple (AAPL) made yet another all-time high at $114.25 in extended trading following a close at $114.18. Apple's 1.2% rally helped the NASDAQ Composite (COMP) modestly outperform the S&P 500 with a 0.18% gain.

For the second day in a row, the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (IBB) topped the list of decliners as traders continue to take profits following the 22% rally between the October 15 low and the October 31 high at $302.98.

In company news, oil services name Baker Hughes (BHI) confirmed that it was in preliminary deal talks with Halliburton (HAL). Both stocks rallied today in concert with the sector. However, Baker Hughes emphasized that the discussions "may or may not lead to any transaction."

Car rental giant Hertz (HTZ) announced that its third-quarter revenues would miss Wall Street's expectations, and that it was expanding the scope of financial restatements announced in June. The stock fell 4.58%.

The preliminary reading of the November University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report was 89.4, above the 86.9 expected.

October Retail Sales were up 0.3%, beating the 0.2% consensus. Excluding autos and gas, sales rose 0.6%, easily beating the 0.4% gain expected.

September Business Inventories rose 0.3%. Economists had predicted a 0.2% increase.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

The Shanghai-HK Connect expange program, which allows non-Chinese investors to trade in local Chinese equities, goes into effect Monday. This could impact trading in Chinese stocks.

Stateside, we'll see November Empire Manufacturing and October Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization numbers, all of which could move the market.

With the S&P trading in such a tight range, traders will be watching for a hard break in either direction. Monday's economic news, along with issues like monetary policy news and Russia/Ukraine headlines, could definitely be drivers in the coming days.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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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.

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