US equities opened higher and the S&P 500 cash hit a record high at 1,883.97, before declining into the close as quadruple witching day marked the expiry of equity options and futures. The NASDAQ 100 started the decline being led lower by the NASDAQ biotec index, finishing down 4.4%, with Gilead (-4.6%) accounting for a lot of the weakness after reports the company's Hepatitis C drug pricing is being questioned by Congress. The DJIA performed better as its largest component Visa (+0.8%) at one point extended on gains to over 4% after news the Fed upheld on debit card swipe-fee cap by appeals court. In a day heavy with Fed speakers, Bullard said Yellen's “6-month” comment in her FOMC press conference is in line with private sector surveys, sparking some selling pressure, and Fed’s Fisher also remarked that the US has exhausted the efficacy of US QE policy. Finally, the DJIA finished down 0.20% at 16,297.76, the S&P 500 down 0.33% at 1,865.95, and the NASDAQ 100 down 1.11% at 3653.07. For the week, the DJIA finished up 1.46% at 16,297.76, the S&P 500 up 1.37% at 1,865.95, and the NASDAQ 100 up 0.69% at 3653.07.
21 Mar 2014 - 20:00 - - Source: RANsquawk
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