"After six straight positive weeks for the S&P 500, this week got off to a little speed bump out of the gate," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell of today's trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average couldn't make it past 14,000 today, instead closing slightly lower on the day. "As the East Coast continues to recover from the rough weather over the weekend," Bell continued, "financial stocks once again took a leadership role."
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Lower energy stocks as well as the lack of any push or pull from the Asian markets, which were closed, forced the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) slightly down. The Dow closed at 13,971.24, off nearly 22 points, or 0.2%. The 30-member Dow saw 13 companies advance, led by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which jumped 1.1%. Chevron (NYSE:CVX) was unchanged. UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) had the biggest fall out of the 16 decliners, dropping nearly 1.1%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) dropped as well, despite hitting another new five-year high shortly ahead of the closing bell. The index finished at 1,517.01, off nearly 1 point, or nearly 0.1%. The index stayed above 1,500 for the fifth straight session and has closed above that mark for 10 out of the last 12 sessions. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) lost nearly 2 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 3,192.00.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) finished at 12.94, down 0.1 points, or 0.6%.
A Trader's Take:
"Energy, one of the strongest sectors so far this year, actually finished the day as the biggest laggard," Bell said. "There wasn't too much market-moving news, but Janet Yellen (Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors) did note that she is encouraged by the recent improvement in housing, and higher rates are not assured after economic targets are hit."
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