The stock charts showed little financial change today, reported the Wall Street Journal, due to little change in a low borrowing rate but continued weakness in the nation's economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average went up 54 points at its intraday high point and finished with a 1.21-point increase. It closed at 10390.11 on December 7, 2009. The S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent to close at 1103.25 as shareholders sold in high performing areas this year in order to scoop up more stable investments. The index's financial chart was hit hardest, with a 1.6 percent loss.
"Utilities and the consumer-staples sector eked out small gains," reported Wall Street Journal reporter Peter McCay, "while telecommunications was up 1.8 percent, aided by an 13 percent surge in Sprint Nextel after Barron's reported that the carrier is well positioned to meet rising demand for prepaid calling services."
Intel dropped 0.4 percent after the company revealed that it is canceling the first chip, based on a new design called Larrabee.
Discover Financial Services saw an upward swing of 1.5 percent, American Express was up 0.3 percent, and Capital One Financial dropped 1.2 percent after being newly categorized by Bank of America analysts as "neutral" instead of the less impressive "underperform".
"In a midday speech to the Economic Club of Washington, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled that the central bank is likely to keep its key interest-rate target near zero a while longer, which helped dispel fears that better-than-expected jobs data released Friday would lead the Fed to raise rates sooner than expected to prevent inflation," the article said. "Stocks rose after his remarks but quickly fell back as investors focused on the economy."
"What I think the market is telling us is that it still wants some confirmation that we're going to continue to see real improvement," said New York ING portfolio manager Uri Landesman. "That's why we're still not getting a lot of reaction on what would seem, on the face of it, to be a very positive piece of data."
The dollar dropped lower as a result of Bernanke's remarks. The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the currency's value against a group of six overseas monetary denominations, was down 0.2 percent, driven mostly by a rise in the dollar's value against the euro.