After last week's trek into the black, the major equities indexes started the fourth week of 2012 relatively unmoved. As there were no major domestic economic reports released today, Wall Street's focus shifted overseas. It appears that talks between private creditors and Greece have came to a standstill, leaving the fate of the debt-strapped nation in limbo. Meanwhile, European Union (EU) finance ministers met in Brussels today to discuss ongoing financial concerns, with budgetary regulations and the potential Greek default receiving most of the attention. Against this seemingly listless backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) finished with slight losses, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) ended with a minor gain.
After tagging an intraday high of 12,764.49 early in the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 12,708.82) spent most of the afternoon in the red, bottoming at 12,665.83 around midday. By the close, the blue-chip barometer ended 11.7 points, or 0.09%, south of breakeven. Among the index's 30 components, Travelers Companies (TRV) paced the 18 decliners with a 2.1% drop, while Bank of America (BAC) led the bullish minority with a gain of 2.6%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,316.00) fared the best of its peers, trading as high as 1,322.28 before pulling back, paring its gain to 0.6 point, or 0.05%, by the bell. Finally, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,784.17) topped out at 2,804.99, but backpedaled 2.5 points, or 0.09%, by the time the dust settled.
Turning to equities in focus, Research In Motion (RIMM) announced the departure of its co-CEOs ...
Oppenheimer dropped its price target on Tiffany & Co. (TIF) ...
Chesapeake Energy (CHK) will slow drilling activity due to depressed natural gas prices ...
PetMed Express' (PETS) third-quarter results topped analysts' expectations ...
QLogic (QGLC) sold its InfiniBand to Intel (INTC) for $125 million...
and today's Quote of the Day comes from Chuck Tomkovick, marketing professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Super Bowl commercial campaigns promise to be a bit sexier this year, even though a study managed by Tomkovick suggests that these type ads "take a 10% hit in 'likability' vs. ads without racy images." The professor likens this outcome to a botched cosmetic procedure:
"It's like using Botox but not having it work out."
But these weren't the only headlines hitting the Street today. Click on the links below for our blog coverage of:
And, in case you missed it, our very own Bernie Schaeffer penned an article for the Jan. 21 issue of Barron's, in which he examines how market pundits may be exaggerating the current market volatility -- and how this may have bullish implication for U.S. stocks. Click here to read more.
For today's activity in crude oil, gold futures, options, and more, turn to page 2.
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