The News That Moved the Market Today

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It was a pretty flat day in the market, but that doesn't mean there wasn't market-moving news. Before we get to that, let's check in on the major indices.

Index

Change

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) -2.65 [-0.02%]12,291.35
S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) +0.10 [+0.01%]1,265.43
Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) +6.56 [+0.25%]2,625.20

There were two pieces of highly reported economic news today, one that made the market happy, one that didn't:

  • The good: Consumer confidence (per the Conference Board) rose to 64.5 from 55.2 in November. That's the best since April, but to put things in perspective, that number was above 100 in 2007.
  • The bad: The Case-Shiller Index, which measures home prices in 20 major cities fell 3.4% over last year (the latest monthly data is for October).

In addition, oil future prices ended up for the sixth straight session ($101.34 per barrel) because of tensions in the Middle East.

Looking at the big movers in the stock market, the two biggest gainers in the S&P 500 were:

Company

Today's Stock Price Change

Mead Johnson (NYS: MJN) 5.8%
International Game Technology (NYS: IGT) 5%

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Change since Friday's close.

  • Mead Johnson shot up after reporting that new test results reveal no trace of the Cronobacter bacteria in the Enfamil Premium Newborn powdered formula ingested by a Missouri infant before its death. FDA testing is still pending.
  • IGT moved up with much of the gaming industry after a Department of Justice opinion that's favorable to more state-approved online gaming.

The two biggest losers in the S&P 500 were:

Company

Today's Stock Price Change

Sears Holdings (NAS: SHLD) -27.2%
Computer Sciences (NYS: CSC) -9%

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Change since Friday's close.

  • Sears was the big news today. It got pummeled as it announced it will shutter up to 120 Sears and Kmart-branded stores. Definitely not a show of strength in this holiday season. The move will also hose fourth-quarter earnings.
  • Meanwhile, CSC reported a $1.5 billion writedown. Never a good thing.

This was the big daily news, but remember to keep things in perspective and invest for the long term. For a stock that the Motley Fool's chief investment officer believes has a long, prosperous future ahead of it, check out our brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." I invite you to take a copy, free for a limited time. Get access to the report and find out the name of this legendary company.

At the time this article was published Anand Chokkaveludoesn't own shares of any company mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Game Technology. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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