Stocks Finish Higher
Stocks edged higher in trading today, with all three major indexes finishing the day in green. However, the gains were limited as investors digested weaker than expected housing market data. Investors were also cautious ahead of earnings reports from technology giants International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).
All sectors in the S&P 500 except Consumer Cyclical ended the day in green. The gains were led by Basic Materials sector, which ended the day 1.02% higher. Industrials ended the day 0.62% higher. Conglomerates also rose sharply, ending the day 0.47% higher. Utilities ended the day 0.93% higher. Consumer Cyclical sector ended the day 0.75% lower.
Among the major movers in trading today were IBM, which ended the day 0.83% higher at $196.08, Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ: RIMM), which ended the day 13.01% higher at $17.90, Google, which ended the day 0.23% lower at $702.87, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), which ended the day 0.95% higher at $504.77, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), which ended the day 1.51% lower at $37.13, 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE: DDD), which ended the day 6.05% higher at $69.80, and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), which ended the day 0.94% higher at $42.94.
On the economic front, a report released by the National Association of Realtors showed that existing home sales fell 1% in the month of December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million units.
European markets ended mostly lower earlier today, with the FTSE 100 Index in London closing 0.03% lower, and the CAC 40 Index in Paris closing 0.59% lower. Asian markets ended on a mixed note overnight, with the Nikkei 225 Index in Japan closing 0.35% lower, and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong closing 0.29% higher.