The benchmark S&P 500 eked out a gain as strength in the energy and consumer sectors offset declines in financial shares and investors began looking ahead to first-quarter earnings season. Fred Katayama reports.
Wall Street ended the day mixed Declines in financial stocks pressured the S&P and Dow. But losses were limited by a rise in energy shares benefiting from on a two percent gain in oil prices. Consumer discretionary shares lifted the Nasdaq. Brad Lamensdorf, portfolio manager at Active Alts Contrarian ETF: (SOUNDBITE) BRAD LAMENSDORF, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, ACTIVE ALTS CONTRARIAN ETF, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We think that we're due for a very serious correction. Insider selling is at about 30-year, I'm sorry, is at a ten-year high. And insider buying is at a 30-year low. Sentiment gauges have been very, very high. So, we really feel like, from a timing perspective, that we really need to see some kind of pullback." Amazon hit an all-time high after Barclays issed a positive assessment of the stock. Vertex Pharmaceuticals jumped after its cystic fibrosis treatment succeeded in a late-stage trial. UnitedHealth fell. The company got sued by the U.S. Justice Department for alleged fraud in its popular Medicare Advantage health plans. European shares rose with little reaction to a formal announcement of Great Britain's intention to leave the European Union.