After Market: Calm Optimism as Stocks Hold Steady, Gold Sinks Below $1,200


Stocks took a breather Thursday after racing higher on Wednesday, and the price of gold sank to a three-year low. The major averages ended mixed -- and that's good news, as the market mostly held onto the huge gains that followed the Federal Reserve's taper announcement.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) edged up 11 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) slipped a point, and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) fell 12 points.

But the price of gold slumped by $39 an ounce, closing below $1,200 for the first time in more than three years. Gold related stocks followed suit. Newmont Mining (NEM), Barrick Gold (ABX) and Goldcorp (GG) all fell about 1.5 percent.

Another story getting lots of play today is Target's (TGT) announcement that as many as 40 million credit and debit card customers may have had their account information stolen over the past few weeks. Target shares fell 2 percent.

Even though earnings season is still a few weeks away, earnings news was a big factor today.

On the upside:
  • Oracle (ORCL), up 6 percent. The software maker beat Wall Street profit and revenue estimates.
  • Food giant ConAgra (CAG), up 5 percent, after topping expectations.
  • And Pier 1 (PIR), also up 5 percent. Net slightly missed, but the retailer raised its dividend by 20 percent.

On the downside:
  • KB Home (KBH) lost 6 percent. Despite this years housing boom, the stock is now flat compared to a year ago.
  • Rite Aid (RAD) fell 10 percent as the drug store chain lowered its outlook for next year.
  • Winnebago (WGO) slid 14 percent, even though net jumped.
  • And Darden Restaurants (DRI) lost 4 percent. Net fell from a year ago, but the big news was the company's plan to sell or spin off its Red Lobster unit. That dragged on other restaurant chains. Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) and Cracker Barrel (CBRL) all lost about 2 percent. Dine Equity (DIN) fell 1.5 percent.

What to Watch Friday:
  • The Commerce Department reports final revisions for third quarter gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
These major companies are due to release quarterly financial statements:
  • BlackBerry (BBRY)
  • CarMax (KMX)
  • Finish Line (FINL)
  • Navistar International (NAV)
  • Walgreen Co. (WAG)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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fakeconomics1

14 carat gold rings are almost offensive to most Asians!! I personally hate gold or any jewelry. But we need to be realistic about the demand for gold. Also I don't own or care to own any gold

December 19 2013 at 8:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
fakeconomics1

Is your wedding ring made of aluminum?

December 19 2013 at 8:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fakeconomics1

---explain what makes you think I spin? I don't even like GOLD and I don't own even own any interest in GOLD--

It takes some thinking!! You need to understand Global Sentiment -- there are 4 billion people who blindly adore GOLD and they rather starve than giving up their GOLD admiration. We are only 310 million people and we have nothing much say so!!

December 19 2013 at 8:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fakeconomics1's comment
betty_brock

I like gold very much, especially with diamonds.

December 19 2013 at 8:06 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
fakeconomics1

There is nothing wrong with that! I don't impose or I don't have any right

December 19 2013 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
betty_brock

Spin the gold story and maybe it will go back up.

December 19 2013 at 7:46 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
fakeconomics1

You are very silly!!

December 19 2013 at 8:04 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
fakeconomics1

Its the sentiment, availability, need and supply--That's why GOLD is in demand not steel, copper, TMZ, Rene41, Titanium or some other

December 19 2013 at 7:14 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

There is a "play" in metals, but it's not gold. The problem gold has is, after the gold ore is refined and the gold is cast or struck into coins and ingots, the gold sits and collects dust - it almost never gets consumed. As they find more, the total amount increases and the price drops. Unlike gold, commodity metals like copper, aluminum, and iron are used in manufacturing - some of it gets recycled but, for example in the case of iron, it simply rusts away.
Most of the "easy" sources of these commodity metals have been exhausted. What is left is the harder to extract deposits except for an iron mine in Africa but it has numerous start up problems with no clear fix in sight.
For example, it costs ten times as much to extract aluminum from the available bauxite ore powder as it does to simply melt down and re-use existing aluminum.
It is unlikely that copper, aluminum, and iron prices are going to drop. You could probably do a lot better if you own copper or aluminum ingots instead of gold ingots.
Right now the Chinese are operating their manufacturing plants 24/7 and they are a black hole for metals with no end in the foreseeable future.

December 19 2013 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alfredschrader's comment
fakeconomics1

alfredschrader-------How silly!! Its the consumer base and demand. US is the least in gold consumption. Asia is the strongest in Gold Consumption and there is no correlation---China, India, all other Asian countries are extremely sentimental about GOLD. Especially during marriage season they (Asian, Middle Eastern and African) consume GOLD by 300% more or more -- The demand for gold will be there for the next several hundreds of years!!

Of course we consume more steel and aluminum than GOLD --- But there is no ROYALTY in scrap metals!!

December 19 2013 at 7:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
fakeconomics1

Hey racquetguy1, Take a look at this link and I want you to respond to this and just don't cut and run::

http://macromarketmusings.blogspot.com/2008/01/cyclically-adjusted-tax-revenues-under.html

December 19 2013 at 6:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
fakeconomics1

We have infrastructure good enough to sustain our demand on supply. But the minute we stop imports every other country will be chaos.

December 19 2013 at 6:28 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
fakeconomics1

racquetguy1 ,

Clinton had the smallest Government and the Biggest Surpluses -- Where were you then? Partisan Perversion will destroy us more than anything

December 19 2013 at 6:26 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fakeconomics1's comment
betty_brock

No, the surplus was all in the liberal mind.

December 19 2013 at 7:44 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
fakeconomics1

Global Trade Policies have destroyed our economy from 1980 to now. What are reasons behind these "Most favored Nation" concepts?

December 19 2013 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply