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September 19, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014

Wall St ends lower as biotechs fall; indexes up for week

US stocks slipped as investors booked profits in momentum names heading into the weekend, wiping out early gains that had pushed the S&P 500 to an intraday record high.

The S&P 500 lost momentum after hitting an all-time intraday high of 1,883.97, with biotechs among the primary decliners. Biogen Idec Inc, down 8.2 percent at $318.53, and Gilead Sciences Inc, down 4.6 percent at $72.07, were the two biggest drags on the S&P 500. The Nasdaq biotech index fell 4.4 percent.

Investors continued to monitor geopolitical issues after President Vladimir Putin signed laws completing Russia's annexation of Crimea. Russia's MICEX stock index fell 1 percent after a US decision to slap sanctions on Putin's inner circle.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 28.28 points or 0.17 percent, to 16,302.77. The S&P 500 slipped 5.49 points or 0.29 percent, to 1,866.52. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 42.498 points or 0.98 percent, to close at 4,276.788.

For the week, the Dow rose 1.5 percent, the S&P 500 gained 1.4 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 0.7 percent.

European shares logged their biggest weekly gain in a month, supported by a rally in basic resources stocks and some positive technical buying signals.

The European basic resources index rose 1.1 percent, extending gains on expectations China would support its economy after Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday the world's top metals consumer will speed up investment and construction plans to ensure domestic demand expands at a stable rate.

Early strength in Europe helped MSCI's all-country world equity index trade up 0.35 percent. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 0.25 percent after a major options expiry, and the pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 closed up 0.1 percent at 1,307.24.

The euro hit an intraday high of $1.38011, and was up 0.12 percent against the greenback.

German benchmark debt futures rose 11 ticks to settle at 142.51.

Brent crude rose 47 cents to settle at $106.92 a barrel. US crude for May delivery, which became the front-month contract, settled up 56 cents at $99.46 a barrel.

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Tags:  Europe  shares  stocks  markets  Nikkei  





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