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06/19/09 16:15 ET Dow -15.87 at 8539.73, Nasdaq +19.75 at 1827.47, S&P +2.86 at 921.23:
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market surrendered an early gain of almost 1%, but managed to reclaim a portion of its gains in mixed fashion late in the day. Still, the rebound wasn't enough to reverse the stock market's weekly loss of 2.6%, which is the first weekly decline in five weeks.
Nonetheless, financial stocks and tech stocks showed leadership in this session's late advance. Financial stocks actually fell to a loss in the early going, but pushed higher to finish with a 1.7% gain, better than any other major sector.
Gains among financials were broad, but Blackstone Group (BX 11.94, +0.79) was a standout after The Wall Street Journal reported that China Investment Corp. is poised to invest $500 million in a hedge fund unit of the investment services company.
Tech stocks (+1.2%) traded with strength for the entire session, and helped the Nasdaq outperform the Dow and S&P 500. Microsoft (MSFT 24.07, +0.57) was a primary leader among tech issues after reports said that Goldman Sachs added the stock to its Conviction Buy List for the Americas.
Several semiconductor stocks also contributed to the Nasdaq's strength as the group recovered from the prior session's near 2% loss. According to North America-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers, orders for May improved from April.
Research In Motion (RIMM 72.78, -3.77) was a laggard among tech components. The wireless handset maker and marketer actually posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings and an in-line quarterly forecast following the previous session's close.
Health care stocks (+0.5%) resisted selling efforts and spent the entire session in positive ground, and managed to outperform the broader market for the fourth straight session. The sector's strength stems largely from reports indicating that health care reform will likely be less expansive than initially planned.
This session's weakness was primarily pinned against defensive sectors like utilities (-1.2%), telecom (-1.1%), and consumer staples (-0.7%). Energy stocks (-0.9%) also showed weakness, though.
Losses in the energy sector took root in a 2.6% drop in crude oil prices, which finished at $69.55 per barrel. Oil prices had been up nearly 1% in early pit trade. The downturn in oil prices came despite a weaker U.S. dollar, which slipped 0.3% against a basket of major foreign currencies.
The CRB Commodity Index was also unable to make headway amid a weaker dollar; the CRB fell 1.6%, giving it a weekly loss of 3.6%.
Trading volume on the NYSE was unusually high as more than 2 billion shares exchanged hands this session. During the last 50 sessions trading volume on the NYSE has averaged 1.5 billion shares. The spike in volume, however, came amid the quarterly options expiration of stock options, index options, index futures, and single stock futures, as well as the quarterly rebalancing of the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
Nasdaq +19.75 at 1827.47... S&P Midcap 400 +0.5... NYSE Adv/Dec 1868/1117... Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1568/1084.
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