Dow Holds Steady After Monday's Holiday

The market closed 28.23 points up in trading today, the first day back after yesterday's President's Day market holiday. NASDAQ was up 4.43 points to close at 4,899.27. The S&P 500 also gained ground, adding on 3.35 points to finish trading at 2,100.34. In world markets, London's FTSE had an excellent day. The UK markets closed up 41.33 points, or 0.60%, and ended the day at 6,898.13. Germany's DAX and Japan's Nikkei bucked the trend and lost money on the day, with the markets down -0.25% and -0.10% respectively.

American Express Gets A Small Bounce.  The credit card company has had a shaky few weeks, but American Express (AXP) put a stop to a string of losses today.

AmEx rose 0.94 points to close the day at 79.02, but the business is still down over 15% YTD. In contrast, Visa (V) has grown over 3% on the year, and added an additional 0.68 points today in order to close at 270.31 per share. Competitor MasterCard (MA) is up 1.35% on the year, and ended trading today at 87.31 after a rise of 0.18 points.

Insurers Finding Ways To Make A Profit.  Despite a general trend of falling profits, America's largest insurers are fighting hard to make a buck. American Insurance Group (AIG) had a good day today, up 1.03 points to close at 54.99 per share. Fellow insurer Metlife (MET) grew 0.83 points, or 1.63%, and ended the day at 51.69. Prudential PLC (PUK), the financial giant's insurance arm, was up 0.17 to close at 49.64.

Johnson & Johnson Up, Procter & Gamble Down.  Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) opened trading today at a deficit, down slightly in Friday's aftermarket trading. The consumer goods manufacturer added 0.82 points and closed the day up, finishing at 100.44 per share. Procter and Gamble (PG) suffered from the same dip in after hours trading, but never recovered. Procter settled down -0.41 points today, and closed at 85.49.

Drug Companies Fall Flat.  Despite widespread profits in the health industry as a whole, drug manufacturers Pfizer (PFE) and Merck (MRK) had a slow recovery after seeing share prices dip at the beginning of February. Pfizer lost 0.06 points and closed at 34.58, making up most of the ground from its low earlier this month. Merck lost 0.02 points, closing low at 58.79, and has a long recovery ahead.

Cell Phone Carriers Down All Day.  The three major carriers in the US -- Sprint (S), AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) -- were all flat today. Sprint lost -0.05 points to close at 5.18. AT&T rallied at the very end of trading to put on 0.05 points and close at 34.71. Verizon lost -0.13 and closed at 49.18, extending its 5 day losing streak to -0.67%.

Published on Feb 17, 2015
By Aaron Phillips
Aaron Phillips is a financial researcher and journalist based out of Michigan. He regularly writes the IG Daily and IG Weekly columns.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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