New York, April 11th (TradersHuddle.com) – Stocks finished mixed, with the Dow finishing flat and the NASDAQ and S&P 500 ending with modest losses despite a pull back in oil and more M&A deals, as buying interest was impacted by modest weakness overseas. Participants turned cautious as focus turned to a new earnings season.
The S&P 500 Index fell 3.71 points, or 0.28% to 1324.46, with the Energy Select Sector Spider ETF (NYSE:XLE) posting the biggest percentage decline among the key S&P 500 Select Sector Spider ETFs.
The Energy Select Sector Spider (NYSE:XLE) fell 1.97% to $78.15 as oil closed below $110 per barrel on reports that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi accepted the Arab League road map to peace.
Another sector posting significant gains was the materials sector. The Materials Select Sector Spider (NYSE:XLB) lost 1.12% to $39.75 as profit taking hit the sector, with silver prices giving up most of their overnight gains, falling from a fresh 31-year high.
Technology, which has the biggest weight among the sectors in the broad market index also dragged, with the Technology Select Sector Spider (NYSE:XLK) falling 0.15% to $25.89. The XLK closed 5.29% above calculated support at $24.52, as its biggest components, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, and IBM (NYSE:IBM), the IT solutions and consulting services provider, fell. Apple lost 1.27% to $330.80, as the stock continues to be haunted by concerns regarding supply disruptions and changes to its weighing in the NASDAQ-100 index.
And IBM slid 0.06% to $163.95, after it was downgraded to a Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity.
Meanwhile, the Healthcare Select Sector Spider (NYSE:XLV) gained 0.57% to $33.51, closing very near its calculated resistance at $33.55. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), the world’s largest pharmaceutical company and biggest holding in the XLV, climbed 1.03% to $20.67, posting one of the biggest percentage gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Another holding in the Healthcare spider, Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB), the Cambridge, Massachusetts based biotechnology company focusing on neurology, oncology, and immunology, surged 7.18% to $78.55, posting the biggest percentage gain in the NASDAQ-100 and the S&P 500 index, after it provided a positive top-line results from the first phase 3 trial investigating oral BG-12 in multiple sclerosis.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector Spider (NYSE:XLP) posted the second biggest percentage gain among the Select Sector Spiders. The XLP added 0.53% to $30.41, as one of its top holdings, Kraft (NYSE:KFT), the maker of Velveeta cheese and Oreo cookies, gained 1.14% to $32.03, posting the second biggest percentage gain in the blue chip index.