Wall Street Blues as Stocks Erase Early Gains to End Lower

Michael Teague  |

Stocks retreated from early gains in afternoon trading on Tuesday, handing Wall Street its second consecutive day of losses ahead of a much anticipated speech from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed one-fifth of a percent lower at 1,787.87, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off by a slight 0.06 percent to 15,967, and the NASDAQ took a hit of 0.44 percent to end the day at 3,931.55 points.

In what could be an ominous sign for brick-and-mortar retailers, Best Buy Inc. (BBY) reported earnings for the third quarter that showed the company consolidating its impressive 2013 turnaround, but also giving worrying guidance for the upcoming holiday shopping season that spooked investors and saw shares over 11 percent lower by the closing bell.

Dominant financial institution JP Morgan Chase &Co. (JPM) closed almost one percent higher after officially settling its dispute with the Justice Department over its role in the sale of toxic mortgage bonds in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, for an earth-shattering total of $13 billion.

Healthcare stocks provided a nice counterpoint to the day’s loss-taking, with Canadian drug-delivery company IntelliPharmaCeutics International (IPCI) gaining 164 percent after getting FDA approval for its generic version of Novartis AG’s (NVS) Focalin XR treatment for ADHD. Meanwhile, 3-D bioprinting company Organovo (ONVO) ended its hot streak rather abruptly, losing nearly one quarter of its share price on the dayand dragging down with it the nascent 3-D printing market.

Equities.com spotlight company Can-Fite BioPharma ($CANF) listed up onto the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday with an opening price of $7.29 per share, ending the day just barely lower at $6.95 by the close.

In ETF news, the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund ($EWZ) ended the day nearly two percent lower after posting a string of gains the prior week, after the OECD revised its growth projections for the South American nation for 2014 significantly downward.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil futures for January delivery were up a quarter of a percent to just shy of $94 per barrel amid a proliferation of signs that Libya’s oil industry is collapsing along with its central government under the weight of militia-driven politics, as major international oil firms such as ExxonMobil (XOM) , BP (BP) , and Marathon Oil (MRO) among others rush for the exits.

For more news and insights on commodities markets, Equities.com’s own Joel Anderson explains the nuances of coffee pricing, and make sure not to miss last week’s interview with metals and mining expert Rick Rule of Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd.

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