Markets closed flat on Wall Street: Dow +0.01%, S&P +0.07%, Nasdaq -0.15%, Crude -2.32%, Gold -0.98%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) dropped down to just below $97 a barrel, while precious metals were mixed with Gold (NYSE:GLD) dropping to $1,515 and Silver (NYSE:SLV) down 3.91% at the close.
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Today’s markets were flat because:
1) Banks caught a bid. The financial sector makes up 14% of the S&P 500 Index, and today, the biggest banks were all in the green, including Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM). While the 0.07% boost to the index wasn’t quite as high as Citigroup’s 3.30%, the banks (NYSE:KBE) helped buoy the S&P, preventing it from continuing its downward trend.
2) M&A was plentiful, but not powerful. News this morning about a number of big mergers and acquisitions boosted the market, but M&A news failed to sustain early optimism and the indexes fizzled throughout the day.
3) Obama focused on the economy. The President was in Durham, N.C. today meeting with business owners and speaking about his plans to create jobs, get the budget under control, and re-boot the economy. His presence in Durham and his meetings with representatives from various businesses helped push up individual stocks, but failed to boost market confidence on a grander scale. Check Out: Investing in LEDs: Investors Take Stock Tips from Obama.