Markets finished lower as profit taking made the scene. Ken Meyers has your market report on the Acadiana Business Index.

  • The Dow was down 21 points to 13391. The S&P 500 Index lost 3 points to 1459 and the NASDAQ declined 11 points to 3100.
  • Stocks lost ground as the Washington induced advance faded. Lingering automatic spending cuts and fears that lawmakers may fail to reach a compromise to raise the debt ceiling lowered budget deal enthusiasm.
  • The December FOMC minutes added to the fray which revealed the Fed sees its bond-buying program coming to a close sometime this year.
  • On the economic front, jobs data was mixed. Private sector hiring in December increased the most since last February as companies added 215,000 workers. However, initial jobless claims rose more than expected to the highest level since late November.
  • Now focus turns to Friday’s all-important employment update. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to climb to 153,000 in December and the unemployment rate is anticipated to hold at 7.7%.
  • Overall, most sectors were lower. Material and technology stocks paced decliners as Freeport-McMoRan declined 32 cents to $34.85 and Microsoft lost 34 cents to $27.30.
  • NYSE Composite volume was over 3.7 billion shares. The NYSE was 9-7 positive on issues and 10-9 positive on volume. On the NASDAQ, decliners beat advancers by 6-5 on issues and on volume.
  • In fixed-income, Treasury prices fell for a third day as the 10-year note lost 18/32 to reach a seven-month high yield of 1.90%.

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