Here is a quick market wrap-up courtesy of AG Edwards:
- The tone of the stock market improved in the last hour. A rebound led by technology shares allowed the Nasdaq to finish positive and the Dow to dramatically pare its early loss.
- Wal-Mart was responsible for the Dow’s decline. Shares lost 4.16 to 51.38 after the giant retailer lowered its profit outlook.
- In contrast, Sears Holdings rose 9.30 to 49.98 on the strength of better-than-expected December sales.
- Technology stocks drew attention as the annual consumer electronics show opened in Las Vegas. Microsoft gained 59 cents to 20.12. GameStop, the world’s biggest video game retailer, rose 2.97 to 25.58 on an optimistic profit forecast.
- Weekly jobless claims were not as high as expected, but did little to alter bleak forecasts for Friday’s government unemployment report.
- Homebuilding stocks gained as mortgage rates fell and Senators made progress on a bill to help distressed homeowners.
- The Dow closed down 27 at 8742.
- NYSE volume totaled just below 1.2 billion shares.
- The S&P 500 was up 3 points.
- The Nasdaq gained 17. Advancing issues beat decliners by 3-2 on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq.
- The 10-year Treasury note was up 13/32 to yield 2.45%.