Markets closed mixed on Wall Street today:
▼ Dow -0.01 percent
▲ S&P +0.14 percent
▲ Nasdaq +0.08 percent
▼ Oil -1.80 percent
▼ Gold -0.43 percent
On the commodities front:
▼ Oil (NYSE:USO) fell to $107.79 a barrel
▼ Gold (NYSE:GLD) fell to $1,768.70 an ounce
▲ Silver (NYSE:SLV) rose 0.20 percent to settle at $35.49
(Related: U.S. Student Debt Load Burgeons to $867B)
Today’s markets were mixed because:
1) Housing: More Americans signed contracts to buy homes last month as the economy added jobs at a quicker pace, home prices continued to fall, and borrowing costs remained near record lows. Pending home sales were up 2 percent in January after a 1.9 percent decrease the previous month that was smaller than originally estimated, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington.
2) Europe: All three indexes started in the red today after global financial ministers said over the weekend that European Union leaders need to strengthen their own financial firewalls before other nations agree to back more money for the International Monetary Fund. However, stocks got a boost after the German Parliament approved the nation’s contribution to a Greece’s second 130 billion-euro bailout, as expected. Finland and the Netherlands are also expected to back the bailout this week.
3) Companies: Transocean booked a $6.1 billion loss, though mostly on one-time charges, including a $1 billion estimated loss on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but shares were up today because the company reported an 11 percent jump in revenue during the last quarter, beating expectations. Motorola Solutions shares were also up after it said it bought back $1.2 billion in stock from activist investor Carl Icahn and affiliates.
[Editor’s note: the above is a cross post that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]