February 18, 2014 -- 4:30 p.m. - 02/18/14

Stocks finished mixed on todays session. The Dow declined 24 points to 16130. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1840. The NASDAQ climbed 29 points to 4272.

The major averages were mostly higher as investors weighed this mornings disappointing economic data. Before the open, a report showed activity in the New York region slowed more-than-expected in February. Shares of PulteGroup fell 1.2% to $19.79 and D.R. Horton retreated 1.3% to $23.32 after a survey revealed home builder confidence declined sharply this month as bad weather impacted sales.

On the earnings front, Coca-Cola was down 3.8% to $37.46 after posting a decrease in quarterly profits. Duke Energy edged 0.1% higher to $71.50 as the power generators earnings beat analyst projections.

Health care was the best performing sector on the session. Forest Laboratories paced the groups advance, surging 27.5% to $91.04 after Actavis agreed to buy the drug maker for approximately $25 billion. Energy was also higher as crude oil rallied. Baker Hughes gained 2.5% to $61.17. Telecom was down the most with Verizon 1.1% lower at $45.98.

Breadth was positive on issues by a 2-1 margin on the NYSE and 9-4 on the NASDAQ. Composite volume on the NYSE totaled 3.4 billion shares.

Treasuries advanced amid speculation the U.S. recovery may be stalling following the weaker-than-expected manufacturing report for the New York region. The 10-year note gained 9/32 to yield 2.71%.

This information is obtained from sources and data considered to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed by Wells Fargo Advisors.Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company.

 

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