U.S. Stock Markets Flat Today; S&P 500 Sees Best Q2 Since 2009

Stock market today, June 30, 2014: U.S. stock markets were flat on Monday, but that represented good news as the second quarter ends. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished up for a sixth consecutive quarter. The S&P 500 posted its best second-quarter gain since 2009.

Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:

Dow: 16,826.60, -25.24 (-0.15%)
S&P 500: 1,960.23, -0.73 (-0.04%)
Nasdaq: 4,408.18, +10.25 (+0.23%)

And here are the top stories from the stock market today:

    stock market

  • Hold Off on that Rate Increase: San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said on Monday that the U.S. economy will return to full employment and we will witness a healthy level of inflation by the end of 2016. Williams stated, however, that in order for this to happen, interest rates will need to remain near zero for the foreseeable future, according to Reuters.
  • Today's Huge Valuation: An analyst at Piper Jaffray Co. (NYSE: PJC) projected an implied valuation on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba of $214 billion in a research report. That's great news for Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) which owns a 23% stake in the company and invested a paltry $1 billion in Alibaba in 2005. Since then, Alibaba has grown to traffic approximately 80% of China's online commerce. The company plans to bring its shares to the U.S. market as soon as August 2014. Per an agreement, Yahoo! will sell 40% of its stake in Alibaba during the company's IPO.
  • Sell, Sell, Sell: Shares of Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN) were flat on news that the company has sold its natural gas assets along the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Rockies, and the mid-continent to Linn Energy LLC (Nasdaq: LINE) for $2.3 billion.
  • Big News for Bitcoin: The state of California has legalized Bitcoin and other digital currencies in a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The new law repealed restrictions on currencies other than "the lawful money of the United States." Marc Andreessen, one of Bitcoin's biggest backers, went to Twitter to say, "Thank you Gov Brown & CA legislature!"The bill allows Bitcoin and other digital currency to be legally used in transactions in California. Get all the important Bitcoin investing news here.
  • Used Home Sales Pop: Despite a slow start to the year, the housing market appears to be strengthening. The National Association of Realtors announced today that the sales of previously owned homes soared 6.1% from April to May. This represented the largest month-over-month increase since 2010, when buyers were rushing to utilize a first-time home buyer tax credit before its expiration.
  • Another Day, Another Recall: Late Monday afternoon, U.S. automaker General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) announced another six recalls, totaling more than 7.6 million vehicles.

Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading - for Money Morning Members only:

  • How to Tap Big Profits in That "Other" Bioscience Niche: There's an approach to making profits in bioscience that doesn't rely on breakthrough discoveries, expensive drug trials, or constant cash infusions to fuel its engine. That's what makes the company we'll look at today such an attractive investment. Welcome to the lucrative world of generics...
  • We Can Invest in Uber Before Its IPO: The biggest name in the car-sharing revolution is Uber, whose mobile cab service app is turning the taxi-for-hire model on its head, all while waiting for a much anticipated IPO. But right now there's another way to play on Uber's success and future, with a well-known company that's going to surprise you... and the profits even more...
  • The Wild Card in the Ongoing Global Energy Crisis: The conflict in Iraq is escalating beyond all hope of control - and it's impacting a huge number of investments worldwide. So we reached out to Dr. Kent Moors, one of very few people who've advised both the Kurdish regional and Iraqi federal governments. What he told us was incredible and potentially profitable...

About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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