Market Overview

Market Gives Up Gains Ahead of House Vote

Major U.S. Indices, which had been up significantly for most of Thursday's session, rolled over in the late afternoon hours, as worries regarding Thursday's House budget vote reverberated throughout the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) was trading as high as 12,384.52 (+81.97) earlier in the session, but heavy selling pressure began to drop the index at 2:55pm. The Dow ended up finishing down 0.5% (62.44 points) from yesterday's close at 12,240.11.

The Dow's decline was led by:

1) AT&T (NYSE: T): Shares of AT&T finished down 2.3% from yesterday's close to $29.26.

2) Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM): Shares of Exxon finished down 2.2% from yesterday's close to $81.46.

3) Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ): Shares of Verizon finished down 1.5% from yesterday's close to $35.66.

4) Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT): Shares of Caterpillar finished down 1.7% from yesterday's close to $99.64.

5) Home Depot (NYSE: HD): Shares of Home Depot finished down 1.3% from yesterday's close to $35.15.

The NASDAQ Composite (COMP) was the strongest area of the market in Thursday's session, managing to squeeze out a slight gain of 1.46 points (0.05%) to 2,766.25. Although the index finished in positive territory, it finished well off of the highs of the day (2,800.11). The NASDAQ is nearing a critical support level of 2,743.79, which was the low on July 18th. Beyond that, no support comes into play until 2,650.00.

The NASDAQ was kept afloat by these top performers in Thursday's session (minimum 100k average daily volume):

1) Town Sports International (NASDAQ: CLUB): Shares of Town Sports finished up 24.2% from yesterday's close to 9.48.

2) AXT Inc. (NASDAQ: AXTI): Shares of AXT finished up 20.5% from yesterday's close to $8.74.

3) NeurogesX (NASDAQ: NGSX): Shares of NeurogesX finished up 18.9% from yesterday's close to $2.33.

The S&P 500 (SPX) had traded as high as 1316.32 earlier in the session, but was quickly sold off from those levels. The index ended up turning negative at 3:15pm and finished down 4.22 points (0.3%) from yesterday's close at 1300.67. The S&P is very close to breaking below a critical support level at 1,295.92, which was the low on July 18th. Beyond that point, no support comes into play until 1,262.87.

The S&P's descent in Thursday's session was led by the following stocks:

1) Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM): Shares of Akamai finished down 19.1% from yesterday's close to $23.75.

2) Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG): Shares of Interpublic finished down 16.3% from yesterday's close to$10.13.

3) Sprint (NYSE: S): Shares of Sprint finished down 15.9% from yesterday's close to $4.34.

4) Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW): Shares of Monster Worldwide finished down 9.2% from yesterday's close to $11.93.

5) Owens-Illinois (NYSE: OI): Shares of Owens-Illinois finished down 9% from yesterday's close to $23.54.

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