US close: Markets finish lower as S&P 500 pulls back from record


LONDON (ShareCast) - - China, Ukraine concerns weigh on stocks
- S&P pulls back from Friday's record
- Fannie Mae (Munich: FNM.MU - news) , Freddie Mac (Berlin: FHL.BE - news) to wind down
- Cash return hopes boost McDonald's

Dow Jones: -0.41%
Nasdaq: -0.63%
S&P 500: -0.51%

US stocks finished with moderate losses on Tuesday after a choppy session as lingering concerns over the Chinese economy and tensions in Ukraine weighed on sentiment.

After hitting another record high of 1,878.04 on Friday after a strong non-farm payrolls report and treading water on Monday, the benchmark S&P 500 ended Tuesday down 0.5%.

"[The] sell off in US markets could well just be some cautious profit taking starting to kick on after last week's push to a new record high for the S&P500," said Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets.

"Fears of a slowdown in China, which were exacerbated over the weekend, with those weak trade numbers, emerging market growth concerns, as well as the prospect of no imminent solution to what is going on in the Ukraine is perhaps prompting a more risk-averse scenario amongst some investors," he said.

Geopolitical tensions, which weighed heavily on global equity markets last week, lingered on Tuesday after Ukraine boosted its defence forces ahead of a meeting between its Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and US President Barack Obama tomorrow.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has rejected offers to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin until Moscow considers US proposals on the turmoil in Ukraine.

Russia is reportedly drafting a counter offer to a US proposal to "de-escalate" the crisis. Washington has demanded that Moscow pull back its troops from Crimea and end attempts to annex the region.

In other news, the NFIB's US small business optimism index for February fell to 91.4 from 94.1 a month earlier, missing analysts' estimates.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Common shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sunk on reports that a Senate draft bill to wind down the two federally controlled mortgage firms will be out in coming days.

"This agreement moves us closer to ending the five-year status quo and beginning the wind down of Fannie and Freddie, while protecting taxpayers with strong private capital, building the components for a stable secondary market," said Senator Mike Crapo from the Senate Banking Committee.

Fast-food giant McDonald's bounced strongly following a subdued performance on Monday after the company reported a 0.3% drop in global same-store sales for February. Sentiment recovered strongly on Tuesday, however, after comments from Chief Financial Officer Pete Bensen prompted speculation about a higher cash return to investors.

Fashion retailer Urban Outfitters (NasdaqGS: URBN - news) declined as Chief Executive Richard Hayne said it expects poor weather to hurt sales and profit margins in the first quarter. The outlook came after the company beat earnings forecasts for the fourth quarter.

Sector peer JC Penney (NYSE: JCP - news) surged after Citigroup (NYSE: C - news) raised its recommendation on the stock to 'buy' from 'neutral', while department store Macy's rose after Wells Fargo (Berlin: NWT.BE - news) lifted its rating from 'market perform' to 'outperform'.

Chemical company DuPont fell after saying that results will be "challenged" by the severe winter weather and disruptions in Ukraine.

Banking stocks were under the weather including Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB - news) , JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM - news) and Bank of America (TLO: BAC.TI - news) . Energy firms such as Exxon Mobil (TLO: XOM-U.TI - news) and Chevron (Amsterdam: CHTEX.AS - news) were also providing a drag.

S&P 500 - Risers
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $98.78 +3.76%
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX - news) (DGX) $54.13 +2.79%
Alcoa Inc (NYSE: AA - news) . (AA) $12.19 +2.09%
Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $61.02 +2.07%
Electronic Arts Inc (NasdaqGS: EA - news) . (EA) $29.80 +2.02%
Boston Properties Inc (NYSE: BXP - news) . (BXP) $112.91 +2.01%
Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) $75.03 +2.00%
Laboratory (Frankfurt: LAB.F - news) of America Holdings (LH) $95.27 +1.77%
Frontier Communications Co. (FTR) $4.90 +1.66%
Akamai Technologies Inc (NasdaqGS: AKAM - news) . (AKAM) $60.23 +1.41%

S&P 500 - Fallers
Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) $35.91 -4.27%
Juniper Networks Inc (NYSE: JNPR - news) . (JNPR) $25.39 -3.39%
Pioneer Natural Resources Co (NYSE: PXD - news) . (PXD) $188.58 -3.25%
Johnson Controls Inc (NYSE: JCI - news) . (JCI) $47.22 -2.82%
Facebook Inc (NasdaqGS: FB - news) . (FB) $70.10 -2.68%
Gannett Co. Inc (NYSE: GCI - news) . (GCI) $28.66 -2.65%
CF Industries Holdings Inc. (CF) $257.52 -2.63%
TripAdvisor Inc (NasdaqGS: TRIP - news) . (TRIP) $104.73 -2.61%
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) $27.19 -2.58%
Assurant Inc (NYSE: AIZ - news) . (AIZ) $66.94 -2.56%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $98.78 +3.76%
Visa Inc (NYSE: V - news) . (V) $227.18 +0.75%
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) $74.92 +0.66%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $78.95 +0.53%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $38.02 +0.53%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $38.80 +0.39%
International Machines Corp. (IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) ) $186.76 +0.20%
Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT - news) . (CAT (Taiwan OTC: 4990.TWO - news) ) $96.84 +0.09%
Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE - news) . (PFE) $32.42 +0.09%
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - news) (JNJ) $93.49 +0.04%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS (KSE: 078935.KS - news) ) $169.89 -2.09%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $66.01 -1.99%
United Technologies Corp (NYSE: UTX - news) . (UTX) $115.64 -1.81%
JP Morgan Chase (Other OTC: JFTTL - news) & Co. (JPM) $58.19 -1.71%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $94.01 -1.56%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $114.51 -1.15%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $81.05 -1.12%
Merck & Co. Inc (Xetra: 6MK.DE - news) . (MRK) $56.69 -1.10%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $81.29 -1.08%
Boeing Co (NYSE: BA - news) . (BA) $125.67 -0.96%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers
Keurig Green Mountain Inc (GMCR) $106.23 +2.15%
Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) $75.03 +2.00%
Liberty Global (NasdaqGS: LBTYA - news) plc Series A (LBTYA) $44.04 +1.47%
Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM) $60.23 +1.41%
Dish Corp. (DISH) $61.78 +1.35%
Mylan Inc (NasdaqGS: MYL - news) . (MYL) $53.99 +1.09%
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $18.27 +1.00%
Apple Inc (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) . (AAPL) $536.11 +0.98%
Catamaran Corp (CTRX) $45.95 +0.92%
Whole Foods Market Inc (NasdaqGS: WFM - news) . (WFM) $54.27 +0.78%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
Baidu Inc (Xetra: B1C.DE - news) . (BIDU) $173.50 -3.37%
Facebook Inc. (FB) $70.10 -2.68%
Vimpelcom Ltd Ads (VIP) $8.85 -2.64%
TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) $104.73 -2.61%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NasdaqGS: ALXN - news) . (ALXN) $175.95 -2.25%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $83.21 -2.23%
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc Class A (FOXA) $32.98 -2.11%
Tesla Motors Inc (Xetra: A1CX3T - news) (TSLA) $234.41 -1.85%
Liberty Media Corporation (NasdaqGS: LMCA - news) - Class A (LMCA) $129.50 -1.80%
Maxim Integrated Products Inc (NasdaqGS: MXIM - news) . (MXIM) $32.19 -1.68%


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