Markets were up for most of the day. Midday, the Dow was up as much as 75 point. Stocks were about to close at a new highs. But the rally disappeared.
First the scoreboard:
Dow: 14,054, -20.8 pts, -0.1 percent
S&P 500: 1,514, -1.3 pts, -0.0 percent
NASDAQ: 3,160, -2.0 pts, -0.0 percent
And now the top stories:
- The Dow and S&P closed almost at a new post-crisis, bull-market high again. But a weird late day sell-off put the markets barely in the red. Still, both indices are very near their all-time highs. The Dow closed at its all-time high of 14,164 on October 9, 2007. The S&P closed at its all-time high of 1,565 that same day.
- Meanwhile, the we have reached the deadline for the sequester. Sequestration is the $85 billion worth of Federal budget cuts that will begin to ripple across the economy tomorrow.
- There were two big economic reports today. First was the revision to Q4 GDP. It was bumped up to +0.1 percent from -0.1 percent a month ago. However, it was still worse than the expectation for +0.5 percent. Even worse, the personal consumption component was revised down to +2.1 percent. "In a way, I would have rather had it stay negative and had the old details that I had before," said UBS's Drew Matus.
- Initial jobless claims, however, was more encouraging. Claims fell to 344k from 362k a week ago. This was lower than the 360k expected by economists.
- In notable stock market moves, JC Penney cratered today after the company reported a massive quarterly net loss of $1.95 per share. This was due to a breath-taking collapse in same-store sales. One of the big losers in this was hedge funder Bill Ackman, who has a massive investment in the company.
- Another big mover in the markets was Herbalife, the company that's being accused of being a pyramid scheme by hedge funder Bill Ackman. Herbalife announced that it was adding two Carl Icahn nominees to its board of directors. Icahn, who has a big investment in the company, benefitted from the stock's 7 percent rally today. Meanwhile, Ackman was a loser again.
- Don't Miss: WALTER ZIMMERMAN: Every Indicator I Follow Shows The Market Is Going To Tank, And There Will Be A New Financial Crisis >
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