Equities Roundup: Stocks Swing on as Investors Play Europe, Quad Witching

Equities Editors Desk  |

Wall Street is battling once again to keep gains as conditions in Europe hit another snag with Eurozone officials putting off a decision on whether to continue bailing out Greece until next month. Stocks opened slightly higher today but dipped into losses briefly before retaking modest gains. Investors have been watching developments in Europe more closely in recent weeks, and in some cases, shrugging off U.S. economic news to focus more on what has been happening across the pond. A close higher today could help the case for bulls as it would push the market's winning streak to five consecutive sessions, something it hasn't seen for about two months. However, the wild card is how the options expiration date, known as Quadruple Witching day, will affect stocks. Volatility usually increases as options holders look to exercise their contacts before they expire. Meanwhile, tech stocks are taking a dive today as Research in Motion (RIMM) is down over 18 percent and Netflix (NFLX) was down about the same yesterday and is down another 7 percent today after both companies announced poor earnings. Oil prices also dropped about 1.5 percent as investors worried about the prospects for economic growth and demand. Gold is up 2 percent, retaking the $1,800 an ounce level.

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Major U.S. Stock Indices

DJIA: 11,492.29 (+0.52 percent)
S&P 500: 1,213.22 (+0.34 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,616.25 (+0.35 percent)
Russell 2000: 712.16 (-0.19 percent)

In other news:

  • UBS' (UBS) alleged rogue trader, which cost the bank as much as $2 billion in losses dating back to 2008, appeared in court today but did not enter a plea. [WSJ]
  • Could the Solyndra bankruptcy be the straw that breaks President Obama's re-election campaign? It's probably still too early to tell. [CBS News]
  • Goldman Sachs (GS) takes another tough loss with the closing of its once vaunted hedge fund, Global Alpha. [CNBC]
  • Microsoft (MSFT) may hold off on AOL (AOL) acquisition talks, hoping that Yahoo! (YHOO) comes into play even as some executives are still cold on the idea after its first failed attempt years ago. [Business Insider]
  • Investors saw what happened when Lehman Bros. was allowed to fail, so what would happen if the EU was allowed to do the same? [Economist]

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