Stocks gave back gains to end the month on a down note. Ken Meyers has your stock market report on the Acadiana Business Index.

  • The Dow fell 21 points to close at 14054. The S&P 500 declined a point to 1514 while the NASDAQ ended the session off 2 points at 3160. The major averages finished lower as investors digested Thursday’s mixed economic reports.For the month, the Dow was up 1.4%, the S&P rose 1.1% and the NASDAQ gained 0.6%.
  • Weekly jobless claims unexpectedly fell 22,000 to 344,000 while the Chicago PMI report showed manufacturing activity in the Midwest expanded at a faster pace in February.
  • Fourth-quarter GDP was revised up to 0.1%, below the consensus estimate for 0.5% growth.
  • The market also moved lower ahead the scheduled $85 billion automatic spending cuts that take effect Friday.
  • Utilities and telecom were the best performing sectors Thursday. Edison International gained 1.7% to $48.03. Verizon added 0.4% to $46.53. Tech and financials were the laggards on the session. Shares of Apple declined 0.7% to $441.40. Morgan Stanley slipped 1.5% to $22.55. On the earnings front, Limited Brands advanced 2.3% to $45.52 after quarterly results topped consensus estimates. J.C. Penney slumped 17.0% to $17.57 after reporting earnings and sales below analyst projections.
  • Breadth was even on issues on both the NYSE and the NASDAQ. Composite NYSE volume totaled more than 3.8 billion shares. Treasuries were higher with the 10-year note increasing 5/32 to yield 1.88%.

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