Plus   Neg

Major Averages Close Firmly Negative But Off Worst Levels

Stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday, offsetting the gains posted in the previous session. The pullback by the markets came as worries about the situation in Cyprus overshadowed a batch of largely upbeat U.S. economic data.

Networking stocks showed a significant move to the downside on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Networking Index down by 1.9 percent. The loss pulled the index down toward the low end of a recent trading range.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) helped to lead the networking sector lower, with the industry giant falling by 3.8 percent after FBR Capital downgraded its rating on the stock to Underperform.

Significant weakness was also visible among chemical stocks, as reflected by the 2 percent loss posted by the Dow Jones Chemicals Index. Eastman Chemical (EMN) and FMC Corp. (FMC) turned in two of the sector's worst performances.

Housing stocks also came under pressure on the day, dragging the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 1.8 percent. The loss by the index came after it ended the previous session at its best closing level in well over five years.

Trucking, brokerage, and semiconductor stocks also posted steep losses on the day, while gold stocks bucked the downtrend amid an increase by the price of the precious metal.

The major averages ended the day in negative territory but off their worst levels of the session. The Dow fell 90.24 points or 0.6 percent to 14,421.49, the Nasdaq slid 31.59 points or 1 percent to 3,222.60 and the S&P 500 dropped 12.91 points or 0.8 percent to 1,545.80.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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