Market Wrap For Monday, August 12: Stocks Close Mixed To Start Week
The U.S. stock market closed mixed on Monday, with the major averages spending most of the session near the unchanged mark.
The Dow and S&P recorded very modest losses while the Nasdaq rose slightly to start the trading week. In other markets, U.S. Treasuries fell, the greenback rose, and precious metals continued to rally.
It remains slow going on Wall Street as the late-Summer doldrums are in full-effect, highlighted by lackluster trading volumes. The market currently remains in a corrective phase, but over the course of 2013, stocks have been on fire with the S&P 500 already up better than 18 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell around 6 points, or 0.04 percent, to finish at 15,420.
The S&P 500 lost 2 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 1,689.
The Nasdaq climbed 10 points, or 0.27 percent, to 3,670.
Late in the day on Monday, crude oil futures were trading up modestly. At last check, NYMEX crude futures had added 0.16 percent to $106.14 while Brent contracts were up 0.67 percent to $108.95. Natural gas futures gained around 2.60 percent on the session to $3.31.
Precious metals continued their recent rise during Monday's session. Near the close of equities, COMEX gold futures were up 1.79 percent to $1,335.70. Silver contracts had risen almost 5 percent to $21.39. Copper futures were last unchanged on the day at $3.3065.
The grains complex was largely higher to start the week. At last check, corn futures were up 2.37 percent while wheat had added 0.27 percent. In soft commodities, movers included lumber and orange juice concentrate. Lumber contracts rose 2.43 percent while orange juice fell 2.64 percent.
Near the close, long-term Treasury prices were lower. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) was last down 0.62 percent to $106.59. Yields rose on the session as prices fell.
Yields were as follows on Monday afternoon: The 2-Year Note was yielding 0.30 percent while the 5-Year Note was yielding 1.37 percent. The 10-Year Note and 30-Year Bond were yielding 2.60 percent and 3.66 percent, respectively.
The U.S. Dollar rose to start the trading week. Heading into the closing bell, 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 0.30 percent to $22.00.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading down 0.22 percent to $1.3310. Other movers included the USD/JPY, which climbed 0.36 percent, and the AUD/USD, which fell 0.62 percent.
Volatility and Volume
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) recorded moderate losses on the day despite a slightly lower S&P 500. At last check, the widely watched barometer of volatility expectations was down a little less than 4 percent to 12.91.
Volume was very light on the day. Around 58 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 133 million.
Noah Holdings Limited (NYSE: NOAH) continued a rally which began last Friday. The stock was last trading up around 14 percent late on Monday.
A strong rally in gold prices sent shares of Harmony Gold (NYSE: HMY) up around 9 percent in afternoon trade on Monday.
After releasing strong earnings last week, shares of Universal Display (NASDAQ: OLED) were up around 10 percent on Monday in a continuation of a rally which began last Friday.
Steinway Musical Instruments (NYSE: LVB) said that it had received a "superior" takeover proposal from an unnamed investment firm, giving Kohlberg & co. three days to raise its previous offer. The new bid came at $38 per share compared to Kohlberg's $35 per share offer.
Small-cap biotech company Vical (NASDAQ: VICL) lost around 56 percent after the company said that it is ending its efforts to show that its investigational medicine Allovectin can be used in cancer treatment.
Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) pulled back on Monday after the shares surged on Friday. At last check, the stock was down around 6 percent, possibly on profit-taking.
Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SRPT) lost around 6 percent on Monday. The stock has been skidding in recent days after the company released its fiscal second-quarter earnings results last week.
Laredo Petroleum Holdings (NYSE: LPI) fell more than 5 percent on Monday after the company announced it is planning to offer 16 million shares.
Related: Amazon to launch new game console.
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