Closing Bell: Dow Avoids 3-Day Sell-Off as Stocks End Higher


A big late-day turnaround helps the Dow avoid its first three-day sell-off of the year.

The Dow Industrials bounced in and out of the plus column for much of the day, but rallied to close at session highs, up 80 points. The S&P 500 gained 13 points and the Nasdaq rose 22.

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Verizon gained 3.5 percent despite reports that it has been forced to turn over to the government vast amounts of data about the telephone calls of its customers. AT&T also edged higher.

SodaStream gained nearly 3 percent, even though Pepsi denied rumors that it's in talks to buy the company, which makes machines that convert tap water into carbonated drinks.

Network equipment maker Ciena jumped 17 percent as its quarterly loss narrowed and the company issued a surprisingly upbeat forecast. That helped lift competitor JDS Uniphase.

Apple lost more than 1 percent, despite reports that it's working on a plan to allow customers to trade in their iPhones in an effort to boost sales.

Homebuilder and biotech stocks bounced back after several tough days. Toll Brothers and Pulte Home both gained 4 percent. Biogen added 3 percent.

The big loser of the day was VeriFone, down 21 percent. The maker of electronic payment equipment posted earnings well short of expectations. The stock is now down more than 40 percent this year.

Other big losers include:

  • Vera Bradley down 8 percent as its quarterly net fell and the handbag maker said its costs have been rising.

  • Specialty retailer Francesca's lost 9 percent after reporting the pace of its sales growth has slowed.

  • And Netflix fell 2.5 percent –- not because of anything it did. But rival DVD service RedBox said it will team with Verizon to launch the Roku set-top device this summer. Coinstar, which owns Roku, gained 1 percent.

What happens tomorrow will likely be determined by the monthly jobs report. But it's impossible to say if good news on the economy will be good for the market, or vice versa.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg