Market Overview

S&P 500 Struggles To Hold 2,000 As Commodities Rebound

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After starting the day higher, equity markets slowly sold off. Trading continues to be characterized by low volume and volatility. Just 397 million shares traded in S&P 500 companies, compared to the 30 session average of 429 million.

Major Averages

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10.7 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,078.
  • The S&P 500 fell 1.6 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,001.
  • The Nasdaq Composite dropped 25.62 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 4,573.

Top Stories

Airline stocks were under pressure Wednesday on fears of Libyan terrorism. A report published on Free Beacon claimed that 11 commercial jetliners were stolen from a Tripoli airport. The US State Department said it could not confirm these claims.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) is reported to have hired investment bankers to sell its non-core assets. Appalachian coal assets and Australian iron mines are rumored to be for sale.

Housing stocks traded lower after Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) reported the volume of third quarter contracts fell six percent. The dollar value of contracts is down four percent. Investors are watching Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV), which is expected to report earnings Thursday.

Stock Movers

Infinity Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INFI) shares shot up 44.1 percent to $15.73 on deal with AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV).

Shares of Concur Technologies (NASDAQ: CNQR) got a boost, shooting up 8.6 percent to $109.60 following a Bloomberg TV report that the company may be exploring a possible sale.

Shares of Helen of Troy (NASDAQ: HELE) were down 10.4 percent to $53.00 after the company cut its earnings forecast for fiscal 2015 citing recent weakness in retailing.

Capital Product Partners LP (NASDAQ: CPLP) shares tumbled 5.1 percent to $10.40 after the company priced 15 million units at $10.53 per unit.

Ellington Financial LLC (NYSE: EFC) was down, falling 4.4 percent to $23.53 after the company priced 8 million shares at $23.92 per share.

Commodities

Although equities have been flat, the same cannot be said for the commodity market. Crude futures shot higher Wednesday, following yesterday’s sharp sell off. At last check, WTI futures were up 2.7 percent to $95.37 and Brent futures gained 2.1 percent to $102.45.

Precious metals were also strong on the session. Both gold and silver futures gained 0.4 percent on the day.

Global Markets

Asian markets continued their strength from Tuesday’s rally. The Shanghai index gained one percent with Hong Kong's Hang Seng up 2.3 percent. Japanese markets rose 0.4 percent.

European markets also moved higher Wednesday. The Euro Stoxx index, which tracks 50 eurozone blue chips gained 1.2 percent. London's FTSE jumped 0.7 percent, and France's CAC added one percent.

Currencies

The US Dollar gave up some ground after making a 2014 high Tuesday, according to the PowerShares ETF (NYSE: UUP). The ETF gave up 0.1 percent on the session to close at $22.07.

The closely watched EUR/USD pair gained 0.1 percent to $1.3151. The other big mover on the day is the AUD/USD, which rose 0.8 percent to $0.9345.

Posted-In: GoldEarnings News Econ #s Economics After-Hours Center Markets Movers Best of Benzinga

 

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