Published November 26, 2012
FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
The broad S&P 500 closed in the red for the first day in six Monday after a strong performance last week. Still, the utility, technology and industrial sectors ended higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 42.2 points, or 0.32%, to 12967, the S&P 500 slid 2.9 points, or 0.2%, to 1406 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 9.9 points, or 0.33%, to 2977.
The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all tacked on more than 3% last week in the best weekly rally since June. It was also the fifth-best Thanksgiving week for the blue-chip average since the early 1940s.
The worst performers on the day could be found in the telecommunications and energy segments. Meanwhile, utility, technology and industrial stocks posted gains.
With the docket of economic data fairly light today, traders' focus has shifted back to the embattled eurozone. In Spain, the eurozone's fourth-biggest economy, parties seeking to separate Catalonia from the rest of the country won the majority of seats in a regional election, according to multiple news reports. Catalonia, a semi-autonomous region, represents some 20% of Spain's economic output, but has a different cultural heritage than the rest of the country. There is also a view among some Catalans that they have to shoulder too much of Spain's economic burden.
"The semi-autonomous region is still far from independence but this highlights how divided the Spanish are when it comes to sovereignty and leads to increased uncertainty," David Madden, a market analyst at IG Index wrote in an email.
The Eurogroup was also having yet another meeting in Brussels on Monday aimed at opening the next aid tranche for Greece. The country needs the international rescue to avoid defaulting on its debt, however, there has been considerable disagreement among public lenders on how to set Greece on a sustainable fiscal path. Among the options reportedly under consideration would be another writedown of Greek debt and allowing the country to cut its debt at a slightly slower pace. The country's economy has taken a hit from the deep austerity measures demanded by lenders, among other issues, which have made it difficult to cut its debt.
Energy futures were broadly to the downside. The benchmark crude oil contract fell 54 cents, or 0.61%, to $87.74 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.64% to $2.726 a gallon.
In metals, gold slipped $1.80, or 0.1%, to $1,750 a troy ounce.
On the corporate front, the holiday shopping season got off to a strong start. The National Retail Federation said 247 million shoppers hit stores during Black Friday weekend, up from 226 million last year.
The Euro Stoxx 50 dipped 0.57% to 2543, the English FTSE 100 fell 0.56% to 5787 and the German DAX slumped 0.23% to 7292.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 0.24% to 9389 and the Chinese Hang Seng slipped 0.24% to 21862.