Market Wrap for Monday, February 11: Little Changed in Quiet Trading Session
Wall Street started the week with a whisper on Monday as stocks were little changed on light volume. Last week, the markets saw a number of triple digit moves, but volatility remains overall low.
Investors are continuing to analyze earnings reports and economic news with beverage giant Pepsico (NYSE: PEP) expected to release its quarterly results after the close. All three of the major averages recorded losses on the day, but they were extremely small.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22 points, or 0.16 percent, to 13,971.
The S&P 500 shed one point, or 0.06 percent, to finish at 1,517.
The Nasdaq Composite lost 2 points, or 0.06 percent, to 1,192.
There were no significant domestic economic reports on Monday, but investors will be watching retail sales numbers on Wednesday. Later in the week, jobless claims data and Michigan Consumer Sentiment numbers will be released.
Crude oil was mixed on the session with NYMEX crude futures surging while Brent prices fell. NYMEX WTI crude, the U.S. benchmark, rose 1.32 percent late in the day and was trading at $96.98. Brent contracts fell 0.53 percent on the session to $118.27. Natural gas futures rose 0.34 percent and were trading at $3.28 at last check.
Gold and silver fell on Monday to start the week. Late in the day, COMEX gold futures had lost around 1 percent to $,1650 while silver was trading down roughly 1.30 percent to $31.03. Copper futures were also down around 1 percent.
Agricultural commodities were down across the board with corn falling around 1 percent and wheat trading down 2 percent. In softs, cocoa traded down around 2.50 percent while sugar rose almost 2 percent.
The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) was flat near the close of equity trading on Monday. The 2-Year yield was unchanged while the 5-Year Yield rose 1 basis point to 0.84 percent.
The yield on the 10-Year Note was flat while the yield on the 30-Year Bond fell 1 basis point to 3.16 percent.
The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was slightly higher near the close of trading on Monday.
The euro rose against the greenback, with the EUR/USD pair last trading up around 0.19 percent to $1.3388. The Dollar was sharply higher against the Yen once again with the USD/JPY rising 0.62 percent. The British Pound also fell against the Dollar as the GBP/USD fell 0.84 percent.
Volatility and Volume
The VIX closed the day slightly lower on Monday. The widely watched volatility index finished at 12.97, a loss of 0.38 percent.
Volume was unusually low to start the trading week. Only 55 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 136 million.
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA) jumped almost 8 percent after the company signed a deal with Sony content.
Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) climbed around 7 percent after momentum from a strong earnings report last week carried into Monday. The stock also reacted favorably to recent reports that New Jersey will legalize online gambling, a market that Zynga has its eyes on.
AOL (NYSE: AOL) traded up around 7 percent on the session after releasing a bullish earnings report on Friday. The stock was upgraded in the wake of the strong results.
First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) moved up more than 6 percent on market rumors about a potential takeover of the company.
Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) fell more than 9 percent on Monday after rising sharply at the end of last week on New Jersey's move to legalize online gambling.
Heckmann (NYSE: HEK) lost more than 10 percent after the stock was downgraded at Wedbush.
Alere (NYSE: ALR) fell roughly 6 percent on the day after the stock was downgraded at Wedbush from "Outperform" to "Neutral."
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