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Closing Update: Narrowly Mixed Stock Finish As Oil Comes Off Highs

 February 24, 2011 04:36 PM

-NYSE down 16.63 (-0.2%) to 8,276.29 -DJIA down 37.28 (-0.3%) to 12,069

-S&P 500 down 1.30 (-0.1%) to 1,306

-Nasdaq up 14.91 (+0.6%) to 2,738


Hang Seng down 1.34%

Nikkei down 1.19%

FTSE down 0.06%


(+) PCLN continues evening gain after earnings beat.

(+) ROYL continues evening gain that followed new drilling announcement.

(+) TIV reaches favorable litigation settlement.

(+) DPTR among morning actives.

(+) KSS meets on Q4, sets mixed guidance.

(+) TGT lower then improves after disappointing earnings.


(-) GM gains after earnings report.

(-) SLXP says FDA may deem Xifaxan sNDA not ready for approval.

(-) ETFC selling shares.

(-) IDCC misses with Q4 earnings.

(-) CLMT selling shares.


Stock averages end narrowly mixed, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperforming the other averages. In a late reversal, crude oil closes lower, having crossed as high as $103 a barrel earlier.

Stocks chopped in mixed trading for much of the session as mixed corporate earnings and continuing Middle East turmoil off-set new economic data showing a drop in weekly and four-week average jobless claims. Durable goods orders rose in line with expectations.

In a late reversal, crude oil futures settled lower. Oil fell back from the 28-month high hit this week as some investors grew concerned the market had run up too far, too fast.

News that Algeria had lifted decades-old political restrictions, coupled with earlier news that Saudi Arabia had announced a $36-billion aid package, soothed some fears of unrest contagion in the Middle East and North Africa, MarketWatch reported. Oil for April delivery fell 82 cents, or 0.8%, to finish at $97.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It had traded past $103 a barrel earlier.

On the economic front, the Commerce Department reported that orders for U.S.-made durable goods rose 2.7% in January on stronger demand for civilian aircraft. The consensus was for a 2.5% gain, MarketWatch estimated, citing a poll of economists.

Meanwhile, new applications for U.S. unemployment benefits declined last week by 22,000 to 391,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected initial claims in the week ended Feb. 19 to drop to a seasonally adjusted 405,000 from a revised 413,000 the week before. In addition, the four-week moving average, considered less volatile than weekly claims, fell to more than a two-year low, down 16,500 at 402,000.

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