HPQ Leads Modest Blue Chip Losses
Wall Street’s two day advance came to a close Tuesday, at least for the blue chips, ahead of the last session before the Thanksgiving holiday. The better than expected news out of the housing sector continued, aiding market sentiment. The main driver on the day however was comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who stated that the central bank does not have the policy tools necessary to blunt the impact of the fiscal cliff. That being said, a resolution on that front will be very bullish for 2013. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 7.45 points, or 0.06 percent, to 12,788.51 at the close as 18 of the 30 blue chips advanced. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index edged up 0.93 of a point, or 0.07 percent, to finish at 1,387.82. Technology was the biggest market detractor on the session, with Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) leading the way lower. Health care fared the best among the 10 industry groups. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.61 of a point, or 0.02 percent, to close at 2,916.68.
Crude for January delivery settled at $89.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up $2.36, or 2.7%. Gold fell $10.80, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,723.60 an ounce.
Housing starts rose to their highest rate in more than four years in October, rising 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000, the highest rate since July 2008. October follows a giant 15.1 percent revised surge in September and a 3.0 percent gain in August.