Markets closed down on Wall Street today: Dow -0.02%, S&P -0.42%, Nasdaq -0.43%, Oil -1.97%, Gold -0.52%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) fell to $106.70 a barrel. Precious metals were also down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,713.30 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 2.36% to settle at $34.82.
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Today’s markets were down because:
1) EU. At the end of a two-day meeting in Brussels, leaders of 25 of the European Union’s 27 member states signed on to a so-called fiscal compact designed to prevent against future debt crises by forcing countries on the euro to adhere to stricter budget guidelines and keep deficits low. But Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy quickly cast a pall upon the otherwise happy conclusion to many months of debate about how best to preserve the single-currency union when he announced that Spain would no longer aim to reduce its deficit to 4.4 percent of gross domestic product, instead aiming for 5.8 percent of GDP this year after the deficit exceeded targets last year and amid predictions that the economy will shrink in 2012.
2) Oil. With little major economic news outside of Europe, investors continued to keep a close watch on the global oil market and rising gas prices. Gas prices climbed for the 24th straight day on Friday, hovering around $3.74 a gallon. Until the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program comes to an end, oil prices will likely remain high, well above $100 a barrel, though WTI crude declined some today.
3) Yelp. The big news today was Yelp’s (NYSE:YELP) initial public offering, which saw shares spike nearly 64 percent, closing at $24.58 after starting day with an initial pricing of $15 a share. But the business reviews site wasn’t the only company making headlines, as Shutterfly (NASDAQ:SFLY) shares surged after the company announced that it would buy Eastman Kodak’s online photo services business for $23.8 million.
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