The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 31, 2013

Stocks are flat in quiet end-of-year trading


The Clinton Herald

---- — NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks remained mostly flat in late-afternoon trading Monday as investors closed out their positions for what has been a year for the history books on Wall Street.

Traders had little corporate or economic news to work through. The bond market was quiet as well. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note continued to hover near 3 percent.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average was up 11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,490 as of 3 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down a point to 1,841 and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite was unchanged at 4,156.

WALT DISNEY GETS A ‘BUY’: Media giant Walt Disney rose $1.68, or 2 percent, to $76.01, the most in the S&P 500. Analysts at Guggenhiem Securities upgraded Disney’s stock to a “buy” from a “hold” on Friday.

ALL QUIET: “It’s pretty quiet out there, and we’ve already done our preparation for 2014, so I doubt we’ll see the market move much here,” said Ron Florance, deputy chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank.

ENDING AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR: With only two trading days left, 2013 is looking to be a memorable year for investors. The S&P 500 is up 29 percent so far, on pace for its best year since 1997. The Dow is up 26 percent, its best year since 1996.

HOLDING PATTERN: Stocks are likely to be in a holding pattern until next week, once all the mid-week holiday disruptions are over, Florance said. Both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market will be closed Wednesday for New Year’s Day. The first big piece of news investors will have to work through will be the December jobs report, which will be released Jan. 10.

CROCS TREAD HIGHER: Crocs rose $2.81, or 21 percent, to $16.14 after the company announced it was getting a $200 million investment from private equity firm Blackstone. The company also said its CEO was retiring.

TWITTER TUMBLE: Twitter was among the biggest decliners. Twitter lost $1.11, or 2 percent, to $62.60. Wall Street analysts said Friday that the stock, which is still up 47 percent this month alone, had risen too far, too fast. Twitter slumped 13 percent on Friday.

JAPAN CLOSES OUT HISTORIC YEAR: Japan’s Nikkei stock index closed higher for a ninth straight day Monday. The index ended 2013 up 57 percent, its best year in decades. Japan’s markets will be closed New Year’s Eve.