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Sam Ro

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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