Worries about turmoil in Iraq kills the party on Wall Street. But the tech sector shines.
There were two opposing factors at play on Wall Street on Tuesday -- renewed concerns about Iraq and upbeat data on the U.S. economy. In the end the worries outweighed the optimism.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) closed 119 points lower, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 18 points and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 12 points.
Groupon (GRPN) rose for the second day in a row this time up 4.5 percent on the back of positive comments from Piper Jaffray (PJC). Since the beginning of the year, Groupon shares are down 42 percent.
Pandora Media (P) gained as well also thanks to positive analyst comments. Cannacord Genuity thinks the streaming service will be able to top the analyst's revenue targets.
Memory chipmaker Micron Technology (MU) got a 4 percent boost after beating earnings estimates, while chipmaker Intel (INTC) was the biggest gainer on the Dow, up almost 1 percent.
But the biggest gainer of the day by far on the S&P 500 was Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) -- up more than 40 percent. Late stage trials of a combination of two of the biotech company's drugs to fight cystic fibrosis showed promise.
Housing stocks rose for the second day as more data showed strength in housing. New home sales soared to their highest level in six years. Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) and Beazer Homes USA (BZH) gained more than 1.5 percent, Toll Brothers (TOL) was up 1 percent and PulteGroup (PHM) was up as well.
The biggest laggard on the S&P was Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), or ICE, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange. Its share price fell 4 percent on a Wells Fargo (WFC) downgrade.
Other stocks making moves Tuesday:
- Tobacco-maker Lorillard (LO) also fell on a downgrade by Morgan Stanley (MS). Lorillard dropped 2 percent.
- Drug store giant Walgreen (WAG) lost 1.7 percent on disappointing earnings.
- Carnival Cruise (CCL) also fell 3 percent on guidance that failed to impress.
What to Watch Wednesday:
- At 8:30 a.m., the Commerce Department releases reports on first-quarter gross domestic product and durable goods for May.