After Market: Stocks Take a Breather Ahead of Jobs Report

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Investors hit the pause button on the stock market rally, with the Dow industrials just shy of record territory.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) lost less than a point. Just seconds before the closing bell it was in record territory, but couldn't hold there. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 38 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 2 points, after closing at all-time highs on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Investors continued to rotate out of some of the once-hot new tech stocks.

Amazon.com (AMZN) lost more than 2 percent. Analysts aren't very impressed with the Fire TV service announced Wednesday.

Facebook (FB) fell 5 percent, Netflix (NFLX) lost 2 percent and Priceline (PCLN) gave up 2 percent.

Yelp (YELP) dropped 6.5 percent, the second big drop in a row.
The Federal Trade Commission has received 2,000 complaints -- some of them reportedly alleging the company used extortion to win advertising. Yelp shares have lost a quarter of their value in the past month.

But Google (GOOG) bucked the downtrend. It edged higher as its 2-for-1 stock split took effect and a second class of shares began trading. Google now appears in the S&P 500 twice, giving the index 500 companies, but 501 stocks.

Some of the "old tech" stocks attracted buyers. Intel (INTC) rose 2 percent after a Piper Jaffray (PJC) upgrade to "overweight."

Biotechs had another rough day. A closely watched biotech ETF fell more than 3 percent. Biogen Idec (BIIB), Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) and Celgene (CELG) all stumbled.

Elsewhere, Anadarko Petroleum (APC) jumped 14.5 percent after reaching a $5 billion settlement of an environment cleanup dispute.

Barnes & Noble (BKS) tumbled 13.5 percent. Liberty Media (LMCA) is slashing its stake from 16.7 percent to less than 2 percent. Liberty's CEO is also resigning his seat on the book retailer's board -- an apparent vote of no confidence.

E-Trade Financial (ETFC) fell 6.5 percent. A Sterne Agee analyst expressed concern about the discount broker's earnings.

Liquidity Services (LQDT) dropped sharply for a second straight day after withdrawing a bid for surplus Pentagon goods.

What to Watch Friday:
  • The Labor Department releases employment data for March at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • CarMax (KMX) reports quarter corporate earnings before financial markets open in New York.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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