Friday Closing Bell: Markets Mired in Federal Budget Swamp

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September 27, 2013: U.S. markets opened lower Friday as the political battle over the federal budget finally caught traders’ attention. Only the Nasdaq Composite touched the break-even line today — and then only briefly. The federal government will shut down next week if a budget agreement is not reached by Monday night. Then there’s the federal debt ceiling which needs to be raised by the middle of October or the U.S. government will default on its debt.

Latin American, European and Asian markets closed mixed today.

Monday’s calendar includes the following data releases and events (all times Eastern):

  • 9:45 a.m. – Chicago PMI
  • 10:30 a.m. – Dallas Fed manufacturing survey
  • 11:30 p.m. – 3- and 6-month bill auctions

Here are the closing bell levels for Friday:

  • S&P500 1,691.75 (-6.92; -0.41%)
  • DJIA 15,258.24 (-70.06; -0.46%)
  • NASDAQ 3,781.59 (-5.83; -0.15%)
  • 10YR TNOTE 2.630% (+0.1875)
  • Gold $1,339.20 (+15.10; +1.1%), up 0.5% for the week
  • WTI Crude oil $102.87 (-0.16; -0.2%), down 1.8% for the week
  • Euro/Dollar: 1.3519 (+0.0031; +0.23%)

Big Earnings Movers: Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) is up 4.7% at $73.64 after setting a new 52-week high of $75.25. BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) is up 1% at $8.03, but who knows why. Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ: FINL) is up 9.2% at $24.45 after setting a new 52-week high of $24.70. Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN) is up 0.7% at $69.48.

Stocks on the Move: J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) is down 13.9% at $8.97 after a secondary stock offering that might have been designed to drive out short sellers. Violin Memory Inc. (NASDAQ: VMEM) is down 21% at $7.11 on a lousy IPO day. RingCentral Inc. (NYSE: RNG) is up 39.5% at $18.14 on a good IPO day.

In all, 70 stocks put up new 52-week highs today, while 23 stocks posted new lows.