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Stock Exchanges: Dow Gains despite Weak Data

STOCK EXCHANGES – The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the last session with gains in spite of the weak economic data. However, the data still fueled concerns about global economic growth.

Energy stocks led the gains, with Dow gaining about 0.55 percent. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ Composite and S&P 500 were also perky, gaining 0.71 percent and 0.72 percent, respectively.

However, stocks had to drop some of their high intraday gains while US bond yields retreated from session. The exception was the US 10-Year yield, which held up its position above a crucial 2.40 percent level.  This was after US data indicated a slowdown in the underlying economy.

Housing data was also weaker, with housing starts slipping down 8.7 percent. This is its second biggest monthly decline since November 2016. Building permits lost 1.6 percent in its second monthly decline.

Along with that, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence data was also not encouraging, with consumer confidence metric falling to 124.1 in March from 131.4 in February.  That missed expectations of 132.

In spite of these data, energy stocks still buoyed the broader market thanks to advancing oil prices, which rose 1.9 percent. Worries have eased over global supply glut after the power cut in Venezuela. The Energy Information Administration is expected to report a draw in crude inventories.

Best and Worst Performers Finance Brokerage-Stock Exchanges: outside shot of Wall Street sign, Stock exchange written on wall

Within the Dow, the best performer was Walt Disney Company, fetching 2.18 percent or 2.35 points. It traded at 110.4 by the close of the session. It was followed by 3M Company, which gained 1.98 percent or 4.03 points to trade at 207.24. Visa Inc. also rose, adding 1.48 percent or 2.27 points, trading at 155.30 by the close.

Meanwhile, the worst performer was UnitedHealth Group Incorporated, losing 1.41 percent or 3.47 points to trade at 243.39. Apple Inc. slipped down 1.03 percent to 1.95 points to finish at 186.79. Home Depot Inc. dropped 0.18 percent or 0.34 points, trading at 189.44.

On the S&P 500, the top performer was Viacom B Inc., which gained 7.64 percent. Biogen Inc. similarly moved up 5.74 percent, trading at 232.91 while CBS Corporation finished at 47.32, up 3.93 percent.

The bottoms were Carnival Corporation, which lost 8.72 percent, and Centene Corp, which dropped 3.86 percent. Anthem Inc. was also down 3.17 percent, trading at 288.30 by the end of the session.

On the NASDAQ, the strongest companies were Hunter Maritime Acquisition Corp, which jumped 416.02 percent to 95.00, Castor Maritime Inc., which gained 111.46 percent at 10.1500, and CounterPath Corp, which rose 56.07 percent at 2.700.

The weakest ones included PHI Inc., sliding down 36.51 percent to 0.80. Similarly, OpGen Inc. dropped 34.83 percent, settling at 0.574, while Criteo Sa shed 17.20 percent to 18.20.

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