March 15th, 2010
08:09 PM ET

Stocks mixed, Treasurys await Fed meeting

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Mixed finish for stocks

Stocks ended mixed Monday, fighting back from big losses, as investors weighed Moody's warning about the United States' AAA  rating and a proposed bank regulation bill ahead of Tuesday's Federal Reserve  meeting.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 17 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 index ended just above unchanged, eking out a fresh 18-month high. The Nasdaq composite slid 5 points, or 0.2% after ending Friday's session at an 18-month high. 

Stocks had tumbled through the early afternoon, but managed to trim losses by the close.

Treasurys look ahead to Fed meeting 

Long-term bonds dipped slightly, but U.S. debt prices were otherwise flat, as investors weighed a mix of economic reports and await a Fed meeting Tuesday.

What prices are doing: The benchmark 10-year note fell 1/32 to 99-11/32 and its yield rose to 3.71 percent. The 30-year bond fell 5/32 to 99-27/32 and its yield rose to 4.636 percent. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 2-year note was flat at 99-28/32 with a yield of 0.956 percent. The 5-year note was flat at 99-27/32 with a yield of 2.412 percent.

What's moving the market: The New York Federal Reserve announced the Empire State Manufacturing Index fell 2 points to 22.86, but four of the index's key components - new orders, inventories, shipments and employment - surged.

Dollar gains versus euro

The dollar gained against the euro and the pound, but fell versus the yen as equities ended mixed and investors continued to worry about finding a concrete solution for Greece's mounting debt.

What prices are doing: The dollar was up 0.7 percent versus the euro to $1.3678 and rose 1 percent against the British pound to $1.5053. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar slid 0.09% to ¥90.49.

Oil plummets amid renewed uncertainty

Oil fell on renewed uncertainty over the debt crisis and the dollar strengthened against major currencies.

What prices are doing: Crude prices plummeted $1.44 to settle at $79.80 a barrel.

What's driving the market: Prices took a nosedive, as traders kept a wary eye on global sovereign debt issues, after a report showed renewed worries over some countries' ability to sustain a recovery.   

- From CNNMoney writers Alexandra Twin, Blake Ellis, Annalyn Censky and Chavon Sutton.

Filed under: Economy
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