Markets closed mixed on Wall Street today: Dow -0.02%, S&P +0.32%, Nasdaq +0.56%, Oil +0.11%, Gold +1.44%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed slightly to $93.97 a barrel. Precious metals were up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing to $1,599.90 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbed 1.35% to settle at $29.67.
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Today’s markets were mixed because:
1) Fitch. A midday sell-off came after Fitch Ratings put seven European countries on creditwatch negative, citing a higher probability that it could downgrade Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, Ireland, or Cyprus in the next few months. Markets forfeited a good share of their earlier gains, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 falling off session highs upwards of 1%. Still, investors breathed a sigh of relief that France was not on that list, and the euro zone’s second-largest economy would at least for now retain its pristine AAA rating.
2) Banks. After markets closed on Thursday, Fitch downgraded seven major banks, including Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Barclays (NYSE:BCS), Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), and Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS). While the financial sector was mixed, all of the downgraded lenders were trading in the red today.
3) Zynga. Shares of Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) rose 10% in their public debut on the Nasdaq today before falling to close the day down 5% off its initial share price of $10. The less-than-stellar debut of the biggest tech IPO since Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) raised $1.9 billion in 2004 does not bode well for markets, and joints