Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sellers Dominate The Final Hour

For the second session in a row, stocks opened lower but buyers moved in to bid the major indices higher. However, upward momentum stalled as the S&P 500 approached the 850 level in the final hour of trading, which prompted sellers to re-enter the fold and hand stocks a significant loss... The late selling effort focused on financial stocks, which closed with a loss of 3.8%, worse than any other sector in the S&P 500. Shares of MS weighed heavily on the financial sector after the company reported a larger-than-expected first quarter loss and a dividend cut...WFC worked to offset weakness in the financial sector. Its shares spent most of the session in higher ground after the company reported slightly better earnings than it previewed on April 9. Heading into the close, the stock surrendered its gains to join the sector's many decliners; declining issues in the financial sector outnumbered advancers by more than 6-to-1... Industrial stocks saw the strongest gains of any sector by closing 1.1% higher. Their advance was led by General Electric, which jumped after The Wall Street Journal reported GE's chief executive stated there is opportunity to grow the company over the long term... Despite the industrial giant's strength, the Dow lagged the other headline indices and finished 1.0% lower... Meanwhile, the Nasdaq outperformed its counterparts for nearly the entire session. Its advance was largely led by GILD, which garnered support after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings... There were several other earnings reports for market participants to digest this session. T, MCD and YHOO all topped estimates, but BA and COF missed estimates... Earnings results will remain in focus heading into tomorrow's session. However, there will also be several economic reports to provide direction to participants. Weekly jobless claims data is due prior to the open (8:30 AM ET), and existing home sales data for March will be released shortly after the opening bell (10:00 AM ET).

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