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Top stock market news, June 19, 2014: The stock market today (Thursday) closed with mixed results. The Nasdaq slipped, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained and the S&P 500 finished for its 21st record high so far in 2014. A decline in jobless claims and growing optimism about the Federal Reserve's forward guidance on interest rates were among the news affecting the market climate.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
DOW: 16,921.46 (+0.09%)
S&P 500: 1,959.47 (+0.13%)
NASDAQ: 4,359.33 (-0.08%)
And here are the top stories in economic news today:
- Retail Struggles Continue: Shares of Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) slumped nearly 4% on news that first-quarter profits slipped by 54%. The company cited higher drug costs that offset an increase in filled prescriptions. Meanwhile, shares of Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR) dropped by 13% today after the company reduced its 2014 outlook and revealed a slump in first-quarter earnings. Finally, shares of Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) fell by nearly 10% after the luxury-goods dealer reduced its sales outlook for the coming fiscal year. Coach announced plans to close 70 underperforming stores this year.
- Oil Prices Surge: The global oil benchmark Brent crude soared above $115 a barrel for the first time in 2014. As concerns in Iraq and Ukraine continue to weigh on the global markets, traders are worried that OPEC's second-largest oil producer is unlikely to meet rising demand. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate, priced in New York, trailed at roughly $106 per barrel.
- IPO Success: Shares of financial information service provider Markit Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRKT) jumped nearly 13% today after the launch of its initial public offering (IPO). The company sold 53.5 million shares at $24 each, right in the center of its expected launch range.
- Economic Data Review: The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index hit a nine-month high of 17.8 in June from 15.4 the previous month. Meanwhile, initial weekly jobless claims slipped by 6,000 to 312,000.
- Insider Dealing on Capitol Hill: The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S federal prosecutors are collecting evidence suggesting that congressional staff members may have tipped off Wall Street traders on changes in U.S. healthcare policy. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Department of Justice are gathering records from the House Committee on Ways and Means. This is the first investigation into insider trading among Congress and its staff in a decade.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only: