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Stock market today, Sept. 11, 2014: U.S. markets were mixed Thursday, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 eking out modest gains and the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding 19 points on news that the European Union has issued new sanctions against Russian energy companies. Investors also grew more cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting next week; many have suggested the central bank will take a more hawkish approach toward interest rates at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
Dow: 17,049.00, -19.71 (-0.12%)
Nasdaq: 4,591.81, +5.28 (+0.12%)
S&P 500: 1,997.45, +1.76 (+0.09%)
On the international front, investors are paying close attention to the upcoming vote by residents of Scotland on whether they will break away and declare independence from the United Kingdom. A recent poll suggests that Scottish citizens are likely to stay within the Kingdom; however, a voting surge for independence could rattle the European markets in a time of great uncertainty.
A number of global corporations and U.K. banks raised concerns about the impact of Scottish independence. The chief executives of oil giants Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (NYSE ADR: RDS.A) and BP Plc. (NYSE ADR: BP) both said the break could drive up production costs in the North Sea, where the two companies maintain a very large stake. Two Scotland-based banks, Lloyds Banking Group Plc. (NYSE ADR: LYG) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. (NYSE ADR: RBS), also said they would relocate their headquarters to London in the event of a "yes" vote.
Here's a breakdown of today's other top stories and stock performances:
- Big Buy: Shares of BlackBerry Ltd. (Nasdaq: BBRY) were up nearly 5% on the day after news broke that the company had purchased startup Movirtu. The acquired firm enables mobile operators the ability to put multiple phone numbers on a single device.
- Stretching for Profits: Shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU) surged nearly 14% on news the company reported stronger than expected second-quarter earnings and raised its 2014 outlook. The company reported a 13% increase in net revenue from the same period in 2013 and raised its revenue forecast for the year to a range between $1.78 billion and $1.8 billion.
- To the Skies: Shares of inflight Wi-Fi firm Gogo Inc. (Nasdaq: GOGO) were up more than 9% today after the company announced a major marketing deal. Gogo has partnered with T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) to provide customers of the telecom firm's SimpleChoice smart plan free texting and visual voicemail services in airplane mode on equipped flights.
- The Race to Zero: Shares of RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) surged as much as 16% in early hours on news the company was exploring strategic options; however, the rally slowed in the afternoon, finishing at about 9.5%. The selloff, which led to a 12.5% decline, happened Wednesday on news that Wedbush Securities cut the company's share price target to $0. An analyst at Wedbush said he expects the company will soon file for bankruptcy, engage in creditor-driven reorganization, and see its equity erased.
- The Bubble Inflates: A recent report by credit bureau Experian Plc. (OTCMKTS ADR: EXPGY) shows that more than 40 million Americans are now carrying student loans. And the situation is only getting worse for young Americans in need of an education. The average loan balance has increased from $23,000 to $29,000 in just six years. Today, Americans owe more than $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, an 84% increase since the beginning of the financial crisis.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only: