Stocks Mostly Flat After NASDAQ Tops 4,000 for First Time in 13 Years

Michael Teague  |

After a strong start, stocks pared back the day’s gains in late-session Monday, but still ended mostly higher after the NASDAQ exchange topped 4,000 points for the first time in 13 years.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed out the day 0.13 percent lower to 1,802.48 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day 0.05 percent higher at 16,072.54 points, and the NASDAQ closed 0.07 percent higher for a finish at 3,994.57.

Wall Street will be looking to sustain some of the momentum built up during the previous week’s action. While the Thanksgiving holiday will knock a day and a half off of trading off of the present week, investors will still have to contend with potentially market-moving data in the form of the Commerce Department’s report on durable goods for the month of October, as the Department of Labor’s weekly initial jobless claims report.

With increasing analyst negativity surrounding the current bull-market and investment funds looking to clean up their portfolios ahead of year-end number crunch, self-directed investors should expect the unexpected in terms of price movement, and can prepare for the frenzy of buying and selling thanks to George Brooks’ latest piece for

Tech companies struggled throughout the day, with internet information provider Yelp (YELP) dropping 9 percent at one point before paring back losses slightly to just over 6 percent, on growing concerns about the sustainability of the otherwise popular online-review site’s business model, in particular its heavy reliance on unpaid user-created content.

On the NASDAQ, Facebook (FB) , Yahoo! (YHOO) , and semiconductor-manufacturer Micron Technology (MU) all ended the day lower on heavy-trading. Investors looking for promising opportunities in the tech space will want to have a look at some compelling software manufacturers included in’s Small-Cap Stars series.

Healthcare stocks fared better however, with Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) continuing its monster November adding over 33 percent by the closing bell on news of at least 11 upward estimate revisions from analysts.

Drug manufacturer Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX) closed almost ten percent higher on 12 times average volume amid high-hopes surrounding its resubmission of a New Drug Application for a weight-loss treatment that has been in its pipeline for some time.

Beleaguered property & casualty insurance company and turnaround portfolio member Tower Group Inc. (TWGP) added over 5 percent by the closing bell after releasing its long delayed earnings report for the second quarter of 2013 that indicated losses incurred as a result of Superstorm Sandy were not nearly as severe as had been anticipated. The company is also expected to return to profitability in the near future.

The basic materials sector made its mark on the S&P 500, with aluminum giant Alcoa ending the day nearly 4 percent higher on heavy trading. Meanwhile, oil & gas driller/explorer SeaDrill Ltd. (SDRL) hit a snag in an otherwise strong year, down over 6 percent by the close after the company released its Q3 earnings statement showing a miss on earnings-per-share, and despite beating revenue expectations by 17 percent. Readers on the hunt for growth opportunities in basic materials will want to have a look at the small-cap chemicals and metals stocks whose shares have been trading at above average volume on solid year-to-date gains.

For more on the most promising of our own hand-picked Small-Cap Stars, don’t miss our report on environmentally-friendly stocks.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:

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