Markets closed mixed on Wall Street today:
- Dow -0.02 percent
- S&P +0.32 percent
- Nasdaq +0.56 percent
- Oil +0.11 percent
- Gold +1.44 percent
On the commodities front:
- Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed slightly to $93.97 a barrel
- Gold (NYSE:GLD) up to $1,599.90 an ounce
- Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbed 1.35 percent to settle at $29.67
Today’s markets were mixed because:
1) Fitch: A midday sell-off came after Fitch Ratings put seven European countries on creditwatch negative, citing a higher probability that it could downgrade Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, Ireland, or Cyprus in the next few months.
Markets forfeited a good share of their earlier gains, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 falling off session highs upwards of 1 percent. Still, investors breathed a sigh of relief that France was not on that list, and the euro zone’s second-largest economy (next to Germany’s) would at least for now retain its pristine AAA rating.
2) Banks: After markets closed on Thursday, Fitch downgraded seven major banks, including Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank , and Credit Suisse. While the financial sector was mixed, all of the downgraded lenders were trading in the red today.
3) Zynga: Shares of Zynga rose 10 percent in their public debut on the Nasdaq today before falling to close the day down 5 percent off its initial share price of $10. The less-than-stellar debut of the biggest tech IPO since Google raised $1.9 billion in 2004 does not bode well for markets.
[Editor’s note: the above is a cross post that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]