Markets rose in trading today, in part because there were deals to be had in the marketplace and also because investors were taking advantage of falling stock prices. The Dow rose 64.33 points in lower than average volume, closing the day up to 18,076.27. The NASDAQ lead the day in gains, posting an increase of 0.45%, or 22.70 points, to close at 5,099.23. The S&P 500 was up 4.47 points to end the day's trading at a high of 2,114.07.
Bond Yields Continue to Rise as Consumer Economy Slows
Bond yields were up again today, despite a rising stock market. The reason behind this latest surge is a weakening US consumer economy, lower than expected GDP, and a sluggish recovery. 10-year treasury bill yields rose another 0.10% today, and closed at 2.37%.
Two big banks -- CitiGroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) -- posted gains of better than a percentage point today. Big banks are poised to be one winner of a weakening consumer economy, since borrowing will pick up as GDP falls. CitiGroup rose 0.91 points to close the day at $55.63 per share, a gain of 1.66%. Bank of America was up 1.56% in trading today, and closed at $16.93 per share.
Energy Companies Lead the Market in Losses
The biggest losers of the day were undoubtedly energy companies. The futures price of crude oil dipped back below $60 and the fragile energy sector fell right along with it. Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Diamond Offshore (DO), and Newfield Exploration (NFX) all fell at least -3% today. Chesapeake closed at $13.56 per share, Diamond Offshore was down to $30.28, and Newfield ended the day at $36.26 per share.
Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) Down Big for the Second Day Straight
The falling price of precious metals in the commodities markets has been hard on Freeport-McMoRan (FCX). Freeport, which searches for and mines precious metals, is extremely reliant on the price of platinum and copper in order to make a profit. As the prices of precious metals fall on the commodities market, so too do Freeport's stock prices. Freeport-McMoRan was down nearly -3% on the day, falling -0.59 points to close at $19.87 per share.
Euro Surges Versus the Dollar
The Euro made up some much-needed ground against the dollar today, although that may say more about the fragile US consumer economy than it does about a European recovery. By the end of the day, a Euro was worth $1.13, up over a percentage point from yesterday's value.