4/4/2016, 10:41 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Closing bell: American markets close with modest losses

Stock markets in the United States and Canada closed lower on Monday, under pressure of oil prices, and also awaiting more of the comments from members of the U.S. Federal Reserves. Investors might be looking for clues whether to dive into buying or start selling shares ahead of earnings reporting season, which is widely estimated to bring many unpleasant surprises.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.31% lower at 17,737 points. Pharmaceutical companies saw a day of gains: Pfizer, Inc. rose 2.26%, and Merck & Company, Inc. added 1.30%. Apple Inc. climbed up 1.03% for the day.

The S&P 500 fell 0.32% at 2,066 points. Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals obviously ran the show: Edwards Lifesciences Corporation jumped 16.86% and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated rose 4.70%, and were followed by a string of others. Southwestern Energy Company defied the trend of others, rising 8.96%. PulteGroup, Inc. fell 6.57%, and BorgWarner, Inc. lost 6.37%.

The Nasdaq 100 index was the worst performer of the major three markets, sliding 0.45% to close at 4,511 points. Vertex also led the winners on the index, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. rose 2.91%, while Intuitive Surgical, Inc. added 2.57%. Except for biotech and pharma companies, Tesla Motors, Inc. rose the most - 3.96% only to fall in the after-hours trade. Yahoo! Inc. rose 1.48%. Decliners: Viacom Inc. B shares rolled down 3.91%, Fastenal Company dropped 3.19%, TripAdvisor, Inc. took the turn down 3.18%. Facebook lost 3.02%.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite finished 0.78% at 13,336 points. All the sectors except for telecommunications were on the losing side, and Pacific Exploration drilled in 32.56%. The aircraft and aerospace company Bombardier landed down 7.25%, despite securing a firm order of 20 business aircraft just last week. The troubled company even received a support from Air Canada chief executive Calin Rovinescu, who said the government in Ottawa should lend a helping hand to Bombardier, Inc. to protect the "the most significant aerospace company" from bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Air Canada shares fell 4.29%.

The U.S. light sweet crude WTI for May deliveries contracted 3.40% lower at $36.90 a barrel, after reaching daily high of $38.41 a barrel. The international bench mark Brent fell 2.97% to $37.60 a barrel, with earlier daily high of $38.92 a barrel, as reported by the ICE Europe at 10:30 p.m. CET (4:30 p.m. EST).

The U.S. dollar index was down 0.05%. The greenback fell 0.01% against the euro, 0.38% versus the Japanese yen, strengthened 0.14% against the Swiss franc, and was stronger 0.30% versus the U.K. sterling at 10:39 p.m. CET (4:39 p.m. EST). Gold fell 0.47% to $1,215.96 per troy ounce.

Image: Nasdaq market site © Copyright 2015, Nasdaq, Inc.

Breaking the News / ZR