Market Wrap for Friday, February 15: Stocks Little Changed to End Week
It was another relatively uneventful market day on Friday as stocks were little changed and volatility was contained in other markets. Investors continue to focus on corporate earnings reports while monitoring global economic news.
On Thursday, H.J. Heinz (NYSE: HNZ) agreed to be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-B, BRK-A) and private equity firm 3G Capital, showing that deal appetite remains strong and may be getting stronger.
The overall direction of the market remains up and the S&P has climbed better than 6 percent in 2013.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added a little better than 8 points, or 0.06 percent, to 13,982.
The S&P 500 fell a little less than 2 points, or 0.10 percent, to 1,520.
The Nasdaq Composite closed the day down almost 7 points, or 0.21 percent, to 3,192.
Production and Capacity
Industrial production fell 0.1 percent in January after increasing by 0.4 percent in December. This compared to economists consensus expectations of an increase of 0.2 percent.
Capacity utilization rates fell from from 79.3 percent in December to 79.1 percent in January. This compared to consensus estimates for capacity utilization rates of 78.9 percent.
University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment
Consumer sentiment rose in February with the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Index increasing to 76.3 from 73.8 in January. The consensus predicted a fall to 73.5. The February reading was the first improvement in sentiment since the fiscal cliff scare.
Crude oil prices fell on Friday to close out the week. Near the close of trade, NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, had lost 1.45 percent to $95.90. Brent futures were trading at $117.84, a decline of 0.14 percent on the day.
Precious metals were also lower on Friday. At last check, COMEX gold futures were down around 1.70 percent to $1,607.80 while silver futures had shed almost 2 percent to under $30. Copper, on the other hand, was near the flatline.
In the grains complex, most contracts were higher and corn rose around 0.60 percent while wheat added better than 1 percent. In soft commodities, coca, coffee, and sugar were down moderately while cotton prices rose less than 0.50 percent.
Near the close of trading, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) was down around 0.30 percent to $116.48. The fall in bond prices sent yields up.
While the 2-Year Note yield was unchanged, both the 5-Year and 10-Year yield rose one basis point to 0.86 percent and 2.00 percent, respectively. The yield on the 30-Year Bond also rose by one basis point to 3.18 percent.
The U.S. dollar was slightly higher on the session. Near the equity close, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was up 0.14 percent to $21.97.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair rose 0.13 percent to $1.3378 at last check while the USD/JPY was down around 0.22 percent.
Volatility and Volume
The VIX lost less than 1 percent on Friday to 12.58 and volatility expectations remain low. The 52-week range in the VIX is 12.29 - 27.73, so the index is essentially sitting at 52-week lows.
Volume was heavier than normal on Friday, a change from recent trading sessions. Around 173 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) shares traded hands on the session compared to a 3-month daily average of 131 million.
Xoom (NASDAQ: XOOM) surged around 59 percent on the session as the company completed its IPO.
LogMeIn (NASDAQ: LOGM) fell almost 30 percent after the company released its Q4 results and provided disappointing guidance.
Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) opened sharply higher on Friday but fell throughout the session. An SEC filing that came out after the close of trading on Thursday showed that Carl Icahn had a 13 percent stake in the company. The stock closed up around 2 percent.
Qlik Technologies (NASDAQ: QLIK) surged almost 18 percent on Friday after the company released bullish quarterly results.
IPG Photonics (NASDAQ: IPGP) fell almost 10 percent after the company released its Q4 earnings results.
Kosmos Energy (NYSE: KOS) fell around 6 percent after the company announced a secondary offering of around 30 million shares.
MeadWestvaco (NYSE: MWV) popped on Friday after Nelson Pelz's Trian Fund Management reported a stake in the company. The stock closed up almost 13 percent.
Trulia (NYSE: TRLA) continued to soar to end the week, adding another 16 percent. The stock has been rallying since Wednesday after the company released a bullish earnings report.
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