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Stock Market Today, Feb. 10: U.S. stocks were buoyant but fluctuating today, with both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 closing in green territory, although the Dow slipped.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.1%, or 7.71 points, at 15,801.79 points; The S&P 500 closed up 0.2%, or 2.82 points at 1,799.84; and the Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 0.5%, or 22.3 points at 4,148.17 points.
The mixed stock picture reflected investors' cautious optimism ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's first report on monetary policy, which she'll deliver Tuesday.
Energy futures remained off for much of the session today. Light sweet crude oil for March delivery traded down 0.4% at $99.45 per barrel. Heating oil traded down 0.3% at $3.04 per gallon, and natural gas traded down 2.5% at $4.66 per million BTUs.
Meanwhile, gold for April delivery settled up 0.9% at $1,274.70 per ounce in the fourth-straight session of gains for the precious metal. Silver traded up 1.4% at $20.20 per ounce, and platinum traded up 0.8% at $1,389.60.
Gainers in the Stock Market Today: Hasbro, Barnes & Noble
Hasbro Inc. (Nasdaq: HAS) traded up more than 5%, coming close to their 52-week high of $52.75. The toymaker reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.12, down from $1.20 last year and firmly below the $1.24 per share the Street expected.
Hasbro's $1.28 billion in revenue was fairly on par with last year's revenue.
And, Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) shares were up about 7% in afternoon trading, nearly double its average daily volume after a report from BusinessInsider said the bookseller quietly cut its BKS Nook hardware engineers, a report that Barnes & Noble confirmed. The stock is still selling at the low end of its 52-week range of $12.50 to $23.71.
Finally, Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ORMP) rose about 14% today after it said it submitted a protocol to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin a phase II trial of its treatment for type 1 diabetes.
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Losers in the Stock Market Today: Prana Biotechnology
Among the stocks that marked losses this session, Prana Biotechnology (Nasdaq: PRAN) was down between 8% and 9% for most of the day. The stock took a beating after Summer Street biotech analyst Bart Classen questioned whether Prana's treatment for Alzheimer's was based on a viable mechanism.
And, AmTrust Financial Services Inc. (Nasdaq: AFSI) dropped 5.4% at $31.10 after a Barron's article over the weekend said its accounting practices were under scrutiny in December.
GeoInvesting, which publishes opinions on stocks, said it suspected AmTrust inflated profits.
Analyst Actions: American Express, Alexion Pharmaceuticals
Several stocks today are moving as a result of analyst upgrades or downgrades.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) shares were up more than 1% for much of the session after Morgan Stanley upgraded it to Overweight from Equal Weight and raised its price target to $100 from $90.
AXP is trading in a 52-week range of $61.14 to $93.62, marking a day high at $88.96.
Also, Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ALXN) shares rose about 4%, notching a new all-time high at $171.09, when Deutsche Bank boosted its price target to $205.00 from $125.00 while keeping its Buy rating. The company develops treatments for rare diseases and disorders.