March 6, 2014 -- 4:15 p.m. - 03/06/14

Stocks finished mostly higher on Thursday. The Dow gained 61 points to 16421. The S&P 500 closed at a record high for the third time this week as it advanced 3 points to 1877. The NASDAQ bucked the trend, falling 5 points to 4352.

A larger than expected drop in jobless claims to a three-month low of 323,000 helped lift the market. Meanwhile, factory orders fell for a second month amid harsh winter weather.

Overall, seven of the 10 S&P 500 sectors finished higher. Financials and industrials paced the advance. Berkshire Hathaways class B shares gained 2% to $121.31. General Electric increased for a third day, rising 1.2% to $26.23. The more defensive utilities sector closed in negative territory. Exelon fell 1.4% to $29.86. Health care also retreated. Biotechnology stocks weighed on the NASDAQ as Gilead Sciences dropped 3.8% to $79.76 and Celgene fell 4.5% to $155.84. Now the focus turns to tomorrows employment update. Nonfarm payrolls are projected to increase by 149,000 in February and the unemployment is expected to remain at 6.6%.

NYSE Composite volume totaled more than 3.3 billion shares. On the NYSE, advancers beat decliners by 4-3 on issues and 7-4 on volume. The NASDAQ was even on issues and 6-5 negative on volume.

Treasury prices declined. The 10-year note fell 9/32 to yield 2.74%. The 30-year bond lost 24/32 to yield 3.69%.

This information is obtained from sources and data considered to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed by Wells Fargo Advisors.Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company.

 

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