December 20, 2014
Wall St snaps 3-day losing streak as tech rebounds
US stocks rose, snapping a three-day losing streak as investors bought beaten-down social media and Internet shares.
The day's biggest gainers included Amazon.com Inc, up 2.9 percent at $327.07; Yahoo Inc, up 2.3 percent at $33.83; and LinkedIn Corp, up 5.9 percent at $169.10.
The Global X social media index rose 2.4 percent to close at 18.50.
But gains in the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average were capped by a decline in bank stocks. Goldman Sachs Group fell 1.3 percent to end at $156.56. JPMorgan Chase & Co slipped 0.3 percent to close at $58.85.
Financial stocks were in the spotlight as regulators finalized the rule to limit banks' reliance on debt. Under the rule, the eight biggest US banks must raise a total of about $68 billion in capital by 2018 to comply with a new rule designed to prevent another financial crisis.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 10.27 points or 0.06 percent, to end at 16,256.14. The S&P 500 gained 6.92 points or 0.38 percent, to finish at 1,851.96. The Nasdaq Composite added 33.234 points or 0.81 percent, to close at 4,112.986.
Today's advance followed the S&P 500's biggest three-day retreat since late January and the Nasdaq's steepest three-day drop since November 2011.
The benchmark S&P 500 index rose above its 50-day moving average around 1,840, a key support level. The index has managed to stay above 1,840 several times over the past month.
About 6.7 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, slightly below the 6.8 billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets.
Meanwhile, European shares fell for a second day as investors sold out of some of the year's top performing regional indexes and stocks on fears the earnings season will prove sobering.
Markets in the euro zone periphery led the losses, with Italy's FTSE MIB index down 1.5 percent in brisk trading volumes. The Milan benchmark has strongly outperformed broad European indexes since the start of the year.
Among individual stocks, Associated British Foods fell 3.9 percent. Traders cited a read-across to the food and textile retailer's sugar business from a profit warning by German mid-cap sugar producer Suedzucker. Its shares sank more than 20 percent.
ABF's retreat was among the biggest on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, which closed down 0.2 percent at 1,333.28 points.
The index reported its worst daily percentage drop in a month on Monday as investors took profit on a nine-day rally, fearing the market had got ahead of itself and the upcoming first-quarter results would expose fundamental weaknesses.
Euro zone banks, which have risen around 20 percent since early December on growing bets on a recovery in the euro zone, were also under pressure.
In commodity markets, gold was trading around two-week highs, up nearly 1 percent from the previous session at $1,309.10 an ounce. A traditional safe haven for investors, gold rose on the sharply lower dollar and renewed tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine.
US crude for May gained 2.1 percent to $102.59 a barrel, pushed up by the renewed tensions over Ukraine, a major supply route for Russian gas to Europe. The rise was capped by expectations US crude oil stocks were building up.
Brent rose $1.89, or 1.9 percent, to $107.71 a barrel.