Stocks managed to eke out minor gains in another quiet session. Ken Meyers has your stock market report on the Acadiana Business Index.

  • The Dow set a record close for the eighth straight day as it gained 5 points to 14455. The S&P 500 Index advanced 2 points to 1554. The NASDAQ rose nearly 3 points to 3245. On the NASDAQ, advancers beat decliners by 9-7 on issues and by 5-4 on volume.
  • Investors were focused on a batch of encouraging economic data.
  • Retail sales advanced the most in five months as sales rose by 1.1% in February.
  • In addition, signs of a pickup in consumer demand led to the best business inventories report since May 2011. A separate report showed import costs climbed in February by the most in six months as prices rose 1.1%.
  • Washington’s budget battle also garnered attention after President Obama warned that it may be impossible to reach a budget deal with congressional Republicans.
  • Overall, sectors finished mixed. Consumer Discretionary was one of the best performing groups, led by Netflix’s 5.8% advance to $192.69 after it unveiled new social features. Losses in Materials limited today’s gains as Cliffs Natural Resources fell 4.9% to $22.73.
  • NYSE Composite volume totaled over 3 billion shares. The NYSE was 4-3 positive on issues and 7-6 positive on volume.
  • In fixed-income, Treasury prices pared early losses after a solid 10-year note auction. The 10-year note was down 2/32 to yield 2.02% and the 30-year bond lost 4/32 to yield 3.22%.

For the complete report, click Ken's Market Report.