After Market: Dow Bounces Back, but Techs (and Talks) Weigh on Stocks


The Dow bounced back from Thursday's sell-off, but the overall market was mixed. One factor weighing on the market: hawkish comments from Charles Prosser, the president of the Philly Fed. He said the Federal Reserve may have to be "aggressive" in raising interest rates, which goes against the widely held expectation that rates will stay low throughout this year. But the market edged higher after Ben Bernanke addressed the same economic conference. It's his last major speech as Fed chairman, and he said the Fed remains committed to low rates.

Charles Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Ph
Mike Mergen/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesCharles Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 28 points today, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged down by less than a point, and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) lost 11.

The Nasdaq was hurt by weakness in some large-cap tech stocks, and by biotechs. Apple (AAPL) lost 2 percent. Over the first two days of the new year, it has dropped $19 a share. Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) each fell about 0.5 percent.

Among biotechs, Amgen (AMGN), Biogen (BIIB), Celgene (CELG) and Gilead (GILD) each lost about 1 percent. The nutrition company Herbalife (HLF) fell 3 percent.

Elsewhere, General Motors (GM) slid 3 percent on a surprisingly weak number of sales last month. Toyota (TM) edged lower, but Ford (F) was slightly higher.

We may not have been buying as many cars as expected, but we were doing a lot of flying. Delta (DAL) reported strong revenue last month and its shares took off, up 5 percent. They've more than doubled over the past year. United (UAL) jumped 6 percent, American (AAL) and JetBlue (JBLU) both rose about 5 percent and Southwest (LUV) gained 2 percent, despite all of the week's weather-related flight cancellations.

The big winner of the day was FireEye (FEYE), a company that develops systems to protect against cyber attacks. It soared 39 percent after agreeing to buy privately held rival Mandiant for $1 billion. Mandiant is known for uncovering cyber attacks on U.S. companies by the Chinese military.

Finally, Rite Aid (RAD) jumped 9 percent. The drug store chain said a key measure of sales rose more than expected.

What to Watch Monday:

  • At 10 a.m. Eastern time, the Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for December and the Commerce Department releases factory orders for November.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.