Stocks close mixed amid lackluster trading
Dow rises 23 points to close at highest level in 34 months. But stocks on Nasdaq edge down.
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Deutsche Boerse is waiting to hear from NYSE Euronext's board and the credit rating agencies before it will make a counter offer to Nasdaq andInterContinentalExchange's offer for the stock exchange, sources told Reuters.Skip to next paragraph
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Analysts were mixed on the companies—Jefferies cut its rating on Nasdaq to "hold" from "buy," while Raymond James raised its price target to $33.50 from $28.50. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo cut its rating on NYSE Euronext to "market perform" from "outperform" while Susquehanna its price target on the firm to $40 from $36.
Stocks could start to move later this week if the European Central Bank raises interest rates on Thursday to stem inflation, as investors consider the implications for U.S. rate policy, according to Brian Battle, vice president of trading at the Performance Trust Capital Partners, who noted voting members of the Fed indicated rates could, in fact, rise later this year.
Whether or not the Federal government shuts down Friday amid a budget impasse could also move the markets, Battle said.
In the meantime, stocks continued to grind higher.
"We’ve had oil at $107 a barrel, trouble in the Middle East, a nuclear disaster in Japan, and the stock market trades up 50 points everyday," Battle said.
Investors who make bets the market will go down, also known as "shorts," have been "squeezed out of the market the last six months," he added. "You can’t fight it, it keeps grinding higher."
Comments by a handful of Federal Reserve Presidents will be closely watched throughout the week ahead of Thursday's ECB’s rate-setting meeting and the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee minutes on Tuesday. The Bank of Japan was also scheduled to hold a meeting on Wednesday, and the Bank of England will make an announcement on interest rates Thursday.
European stocks hit a three-week closing high after several merger announcements.