Friday’s Sequestration Deadline Looms Over Wall Street – Acadiana Business Index
- The Dow fell 216 points to 13784. The S&P 500 shed 28 points to close below 1500 at 1487. The NASDAQ lost 46 points to close at 3116.
- The major averages gave up early gains to finish firmly in negative territory as election results in Italy raised concerns about country’s austerity measures and euro zone stability. Stocks had opened higher on speculation Japan’s prime minister will nominate a central bank head that is supportive of stimulus measures.
- Attention was also on Washington ahead of the March 1 deadline to avoid $85 billion in automatic spending cuts and Fed Chairman Bernanke’s semiannual congressional testimonies on monetary policy.
- All 10 sectors in the S&P 500 were lower on the session. Financials were the worst performing group with Bank of America losing 3.6% to $11.03 and Morgan Stanley falling 6.6% to $22.03. Energy and materials also weighed heavily on the market. Chevron slipped 2.1% to $113.54 and Halliburton retreated 3.1% to $39.85. Shares of coal producer Peabody Energy dropped 5.0% to 21.55. Barnes & Noble was a notable gainer, rising 11.5% to $15.06, after its chairman said he would offer to buy the retailer’s stores and website.
- Breadth was negative on issues by 7-2 on the NYSE and 4-1 on the NASDAQ. NYSE Composite volume totaled 3.9 billion shares. Treasuries rallied with the 10-year note gaining 27/32 to yield 1.87%.
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