Markets were essentially flat in trading today, with no rally in sight. The NASDAQ outperformed both the Dow and S&P 500. Still, none of the markets moved very far, with all three gaining less than half of a percentage point. The Dow was up 34.43 points in trading today, and closed at 1,712.66. The NASDAQ climbed 27.85 points and ended trading at 4,891.22. The S&P 500 inched up 4.87 points to close the day at 2,061.02. In overseas trading, only Germany's DAX stood out as a winner. The DAX gained 24.70 points to close at 11,868.33. Japan's Nikkei continued a multi-day slide, losing -183.72 to close at 19,285.63.
Carnival, Royal Caribbean Up On Q1 Earnings Beat. Two of the country's biggest cruise lines saw their share prices surge on higher than forecast earnings. Carnival (CCL) shot up 6%, or 2.70 points, to close at $47.12 per share. Royal Caribbean (RCL) gained 4.85 points and ended the day's trading at $79.85 per share.
Kraft Continues To Rise As Merger Moves Forward. In the wake of a recent merger announcement, Kraft Foods (KRFT) saw share prices continue to make gains today. The company gained another 4.71 points in trading today, continuing a 20 point rally that's been in place since Wednesday. Kraft closed the day's trading at $89.10 per share, a multi-year high.
Auto Parts Retailers Have A Good Day. The retail sector as a whole has seen spotty growth, but auto parts retailers have been seeing gains all month long. Autozone (AZO) gained 3% in trading today, adding on another 19.30 points to close at $681.34. Competitor O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) snapped a losing streak and gained 4.29 points today, closing at $215.48 per share. Advanced Auto Parts (AAP) also made gains on the day, with share prices rising 1.98 points to close at $151.39.
Health Services Sector Begins To Weaken. With the latest instability in the biotech segment, the health services sector as a whole is beginning to look shaky. In fact, just today Jim Kramer mentioned that penny stocks in the sector may be ready for a dip back to previous prices, although in the short term most of these stocks still look strong. Some factors working against the sector are the long time to market for new drugs, the uncertainty that comes along with having to see FDA approval for every new product, and the fact that the industry has displayed all of the classic signs of a bubble.
Airlines Up Despite Transportation Troubles. The airline industry in America has been one of the hardest hit market segments in the recent recession, and one of the slowest to recover as people limit their travel. Still, many airlines saw share prices rise today. Most notably, Allegiant (ALGT) which gained 4.22 points to close at $192.45 per share. Spirit Airlines (SAVE) rose 2.97 points and United Continental (UAL) was up 2.78 points.