Stocks closed flat before comments from the Fed

Stocks closed flat on Wednesday as investors were hesitant before comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen due on Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18.75 points or 0.12%, and closed at 16,198.41. The S&P 500 inched up 0.04 of a point and closed at 1,845.16. The NASDAQ Composite added 4.477 points or 0.10%, and closed at 4,292.064. The S&P 500 retail index gained 1.4 percent. Among top Dow Jones Industrial Average performers were Wal-Mart Stores, up 1.96%, UnitedHealth, up 0.97%, and DuPont, up 0.92%. Among the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s worst...

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U.S. stocks traded higher on by gains in health insurers’ shares

U.S. stocks traded higher on Monday and the S&P 500 hit a record intraday high, boosted by gains in health insurers’ shares. In Washington, regulators are proposing cuts to Medicare rates that are less than expected, which boosted healthcare stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average increased 103.84 points or 0.64%, and closed at 16,207.14. The S&P 500 added 11.36 points or 0.62%, and closed at 1,847.61, after hitting an intraday record high of 1,858.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 29.558 points or 0.69%, and closed at 4,292.968. Among top Dow Jones Industrial Average...

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U.S. stocks dropped on disappointing data on home sales

U.S. stocks traded lower on Friday following disappointing data on home sales. A report from the National Association of Realtors indicated that U.S. existing home sales dropped 5.1% to 4.62 million units last month, more than expectations for a 4.3% drop to 4.68 million units. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 29.93 points or 0.19%, and closed at 16,103.30. The S&P 500 dropped 3.53 points or 0.19%, and closed at 1,836.25. The NASDAQ Composite Index dropped 4.135 points or 0.10%, and closed at 4,263.41. For the week, the Dow Jones dropped 0.3% and the S&P 500 dropped 0.1%. The...

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U.S. stocks dropped on Fed minutes; Facebook buys WhatsApp for $16 billion

U.S. stocks dropped on Wednesday following an announcement from the Federal Reserve which said in the minutes of its January policy meeting released earlier that it will probably continue tapering its monthly bond-buying program this year. The minutes released on Wednesday, also revealed that monetary authorities debated forsaking plans to raise rates if the unemployment rate dropps past 6.5%. A second report indicated that the U.S. producer price index added 0.2% last month, above expectations for an increase of 0.1%, while core producer prices rose 0.2%. After trading hours, Facebook Inc....

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Facebook buys WhatsApp for $16 billion

Facebook Inc. announced that it is about buy the startup company WhatsApp for $16 billion in cash and stock. Facebook reported on Wednesday it will pay about $12 billion in stock and $4 billion in cash in its largest acquisition. Facebook shares dropped 5% to $64.70 after trading hours, from a close of $68.06 on the NASDAQ. The Facebook announcement said that WhatsApp has built a cellular texting service which includes 450 million users a month, 70% of which use the service on a day to day basis. As part of the deal, WhatsApp co-founder and Chief Executive Jan Koum will join Facebook’s...

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U.S. stocks closed mixed on Coca-Cola quarterly earnings

U.S. stocks closed mixed on Tuesday after disappointing quarterly earnings from Coca-Cola. Also today, the National Association of Home Builders reported its index on homebuilder confidence dropped in February to 46, which followed weak reports last week on retail sales and the labor market. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that its general business conditions index came in at 4.48 for February, down from a 20-month high of 12.51 in January. The new orders index dropped to zero from a two-year high of 11 last month. The MSCI World index was up 0.3%. The Dow Jones industrial...

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