Major Averages Suffer Losses – Acadiana Business Index
- The Dow fell 108 points to 13927. The S&P 500 dropped 19 points to 1511. The NASDAQ lost 49 points to close at 3164. The major averages retreated from their 5-year highs after the release of the minutes of the January Fed meeting showed policymakers debated whether to continue its bond buying program.
- On the economic front, housing starts fell 8.5% in January while a separate report showed producer prices increased 0.2% last month.
- All 10 sectors in the S&P 500 declined with materials and energy the worst performing groups. Freeport McMoRan lost 6.0% to $32.22 as gold and copper prices retreated. Newfield Exploration slumped 9.3% to $24.75 after posting a quarterly loss. Shares of Apple traded down 2.4% to $448.85 on news the company’s supplier Foxconn Technology instituted a hiring freeze. Office Max slipped 7.0% to $12.09 after agreeing to be acquired by Office Depot for $1.17 billion. In the industrials, Joy Global advanced 2.7% to $65.25 after its CEO said at an investor conference the company may seek acquisitions. Caterpillar ended down 2.5% to $93.22 after saying global retail machine sales fell.
- Breadth was negative with declining issues outpacing advancers by 3-1 on the NYSE and 7-2 on the NASDAQ. Composite volume on the NYSE totaled 4.2 billion shares. Treasuries finished higher with the 10-year note gaining 5/32 to yield 2.01%.
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