Markets closed mixed on Wall Street today: Dow -0.11%, S&P +0.03%, Nasdaq +0.31%, Oil -1.14%, Gold +0.67%.
Hot Feature: Dow 30 Stocks: 2012 Quarterly Earnings Preview
Today’s markets were mixed because:
1) Germany. Reports showing the German economy — the biggest in the European Union — to have contracted 0.25 percent in the last quarter raised concern that the single shining beacon of stability left in the euro zone might be backsliding into the mild recession plaguing most of Europe. The euro slid as much as 0.8 percent during the day to a 16-month low of $1.26. Now investors eagerly await key auctions of Italian and Spanish bonds on Thursday and Friday.
2) Companies. Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) shares plunged after the clothing retail announced late Tuesday that CEO Glen Senk had resigned, prompting Citigroup (NYSE:C) to downgrade the company’s stock from “buy” to “sell” and cut its price target from $34 to $20. Lennar (NYSE:LEN) shares rose even though the homebuilder announced earnings that fell short of estimates, as revenue was better than expected. Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX) popped 16 percent after the company said it expected fourth-quarter revenue to come in at the high end of its forecast and full-year sales to top $1 billion.
3) Financial. Banks continued their climb today as positive economic data encouraged investors. Despite being targeted in an insurance probe by New York State’s Department of Financial Services, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) all continued Tuesday’s rally.