by Alyssa Oursler | April 1, 2013 4:50 pm
While a booming first quarter is in the books, April started off a bit slow Monday as weaker-than-expected manufacturing data for March muddled the markets, with all three major indices finishing in the red.
The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing reading came to 51.3. While activity is still expanding, that number is well lower than the 54.2 reading in February and below the expected reading of 54.
The S&P 500 finished down 0.45% to 1,562.17, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.04% to 14,572.85, and the Nasdaq lost the most, slipping 0.87% to close at 3,237.17.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) weighed on the Nasdaq, with the stock shedding more than 3% on a number of headlines. The U.S. Patent Office denied Apple a trademark for the name “iPad Mini,” and Fidelity Contrafund (MUTF:FCNTX) manager Will Danoff reportedly cut the fund’s stake in Apple by 10% during the first two months of 2013. The fund is the largest shareholder in Tim Cook’s tech giant. Apple also issued a broad apology toward its Chinese customers after being accused by Chinese media of treating the country and its people differently.
Panasonic (NYSE:PC) was another tech loser, as a unit of the Japanese electronics maker is under investigation by U.S. authorities for potentially bribing airline and government employees overseas. The stock shed over 8% as a result. Sony (NYSE:SNE) also shed nearly 5% on the day.
Semiconductor manufacturer Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) — a pick for our Best Stocks of 2013 contest — ended over almost 2% in the red after catching a downgrade from JMP Securities. An analyst cited the “discovery of technology roadmap issues that add to an already challenging outlook.”
On a brighter note, electric car maker Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) gained nearly 16% after announcing expectations for its first profit ever in the first quarter. The news came thanks to better-than-expected sales of the company’s Model S — Motor Trend’s Car of the Year — during the three-month period.
Shares of eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) also climbed 3% after the company revealed plans for same-day delivery in more areas and continued international expansion.
Energy companies posted a strong day, with Research Frontiers (NASDAQ:REFR, +16.85%), Quicksilver Resource (NYSE:KWK, +15.56%) and Gastar Exploration (NYSE:GST, +14.2%) topping the list.
Finally, card company American Greetings (NYSE:AM) will be taken private by its founding family for $18.20 per share, or a roughly 13% premium over Thursday’s closing price.
Alyssa Oursler is an editorial assistant at InvestorPlace.com As of this writing he does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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