After Market: Stocks End Month Higher Despite Skittishness over Ukraine

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Concerns about the political uncertainty in Ukraine caused some volatility in the markets Friday afternoon, with the major indexes making several U-turns ahead of the weekend.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI), which had been up by as much as 125 points, briefly dropped into loss territory before rebounding to end 49 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged up 5 points, adding to Thursday's record high, but the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 10 points.
Ukraine Protests
AP/Darko VojinovicPro-Russian militias have seized local government buildings in Crimea, Ukraine; the unrest there is making investors around the world nervous.
February was a great month for investors. All three major averages jumped by about 4 percent.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) led the blue chips, gaining 1½ percent. Other health providers – Aetna (AET), Wellpoint (WLP), Cigna (CI) and Humana (HUM) -- all gained between 1½ and 2 percent.

And retail stocks remained active. Target (TGT) added another 3 percent. Best Buy rose 4 percent, and Fred's (FRED), a regional department store chain, jumped 10 percent.

But Pier 1 (PIR) fell 5½ percent after lowering its earnings outlook for a second time. That led to a series of brokerage downgrades.

Decker Outdoor (DECK) tumbled 12 percent. The maker of footwear brands such as Ugg and Teva issued a weak outlook. And apparel maker Lululemon (LULU) fell 5-percent on negative comments from Credit Suisse.

It seems as though there are always some big movers in the drug and biotech sectors – and that was certainly the case today.

GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) rose 2 percent after the FDA granted orphan status to its drug to treat a rare form of childhood epilepsy.

But most of the action was on the downside.

Endologix (ELGX) slid 24 percent after forecasting lower revenue growth.

Questcor (QCOR) fell 10 percent. It's lost big for three straight days amid allegations of questionable business practices.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) fell 9 percent. It's also had a wild week following its earnings and a management shake-up.

Elsewhere, United Continental (UAL) fell more than 3 percent. It reported that a high level of weather related cancellations this quarter will hurt revenue.

And Monster Beverage (MNST) rose 4 percent. It reports strong revenue growth despite health concerns about its high-energy drinks.

What to Watch Monday:
  • Automakers release vehicle sales for February.
  • The Commerce Department releases personal income and spending for January at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • At 10 a.m., the Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for February, and the Commerce Department releases construction spending for January.
  • The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on proposed changes to generic drug labeling.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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4 Comments

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nthereoff

Test for our president? We are not going to war but what our we going to do? Doing notting and drawing line and not backing it up. Why would Russia worry? W W 2 may have turn out better and with a lot less people dieing if Hitler was stop earlier. Peace in their time, how did that work out?

March 01 2014 at 10:12 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nthereoff's comment
no1gum

I'm going to assume that English is your second language, but really, what are you trying to say?

March 01 2014 at 11:55 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

Nobody believes the spin anymore.

February 28 2014 at 8:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
savannahswithgod

I believe Hitler once invaded the Ukraine. If he had only made them his ally instead of trying to kill them all. Russia take that it is just a stones throw to the shores of the East Coast and Global Domination. Well something has got to solve the problem of Greed and a World War is just the thing. And the Stock Market didn't set any record highs on the Good News?

February 28 2014 at 8:36 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Eventually the stock market won't be able to ignor everything for the Third World War is coming sooner or later.

February 28 2014 at 6:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
savannahswithgod

They'll still find some way to be Greedy Bastards that have helped bring it to bear. American Greed can't be beat, it was even in the POW camps of Japan. Hey a cig for that little chunk of bread.

February 28 2014 at 8:38 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to savannahswithgod's comment
wrench701

Hey a little entitlement for a vote

February 28 2014 at 10:36 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down
alfredschrader

Madcap: Ukraine is critical because thats where the 7.62 mm rifle ammo comes from.
It's less than 25 cents per round and will stop anything including and not limited to Hind D helicopters, light armored urban vehicles, vstol jets, and is accurate to 1-1/4 miles.
Only drawback is a shoulder pad is required.

February 28 2014 at 6:16 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alfredschrader's comment
wrench701

Are you still vacationing in Colorado?

February 28 2014 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply