REUTERSClerks take orders and signal them into the Standard and Poors 500 stock index futures trading pit at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange shortly after the market opened September 1, 1998.
The stock market in aggregate didn’t do a whole lot today. But high-flyers like biotech tumbled.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,277.0 (-25.7, -0.1%)
- S&P 500: 1,857.9 (-8.6, -0.4%)
- Nasdaq: 4,227.3, (-48.9, -1.1%)
And now the top stories:
- Biotech stocks fell again, with the iShares Biotechnology Index (IBB) sliding 2.5%. This followed Friday’s 4.7% decline. “Anyone with a protein compound under a microscope and a clean suit can go public right now,” said Reformed Broker Josh Brown who’s convinced the sector is in a bubble.
- The worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 was Netflix, which fell by 7%. This came after The Wall Street Journal reported that Comcast and Apple were in talks about teaming up to offer a new TV product to replace cable boxes. Investors probably saw this as a threat to Netflix’s business.
- In a new interview with Fortune, GMO’s Jeremy Grantham reiterated his long-term bearishness on stocks. However, he does see prices surging before crashing down again. “We do think the market is going to go higher because the Fed hasn’t ended its game, and it won’t stop playing until we are in old-fashioned bubble territory and it bursts, which usually happens at two standard deviations from the market’s mean,” he said. “That would take us to 2,350 on the S&P 500, or roughly 25% from where we are now.”
- Markit’s Flash (or preliminary) U.S. manufacturing PMI slipped to 55.5 in March from 57.1 in February. This was worse than the 56.5 expected by economists. Still, any reading above 50 signals growth. “The buoyant growth in March rounds off the best quarter for three years, indicating that the sector should provide a robust contribution to GDP in the first quarter,” said Markit’s Chris Williamson. “Growth was not as strong as February, but that’s in many respects only to be expected after last month’s numbers had been boosted by the rebound from January’s severe weather. The fact that the output and new orders indices remained so strong in March is very encouraging news that the sector has come through the weather-related soft patch and continues to play an increasingly important role in the economic upturn.”
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