SPDR S&P 500 and Other Financial Stocks Making Big Moves on December 21, 2012

By Investopedia Staff | December 21, 2012 AAA

It's been a bad day for the market after the morning's trading. The Nasdaq has decreased 2%; the S&P 500 has declined 1.9%; and the Dow has decreased 1.4%. The financial sector is the category of stocks containing firms that provide financial services to commercial and retail customers. This sector includes banks, investment funds, insurance companies and real estate. Financial services perform best in low interest rate environments. A large portion of this sector generates revenue from mortgages and loans, which gain value as interest rates drop. Furthermore, when the business cycle is in an upswing, the financial sector benefits from additional investments. Improved economic conditions usually lead to more capital projects and increased personal investing. New projects require financing, which usually leads to a larger number of loans.

The Financial sector (XLF) is down 2%, outperforming the market overall. Currently, the biggest movers in the sector are:

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Enstar (Nasdaq:ESGR) $1.81 billion -2.9%
SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) $121.56 billion -1.9%
IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE:ICE) $9.46 billion -1.9%
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE:DIA) $10.61 billion -1.4%
BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) $36.52 billion -1.4%
SPDR S&P MidCap 400 (NYSE:MDY) $10.62 billion -1.3%
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) $60.96 billion -1.3%

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Enstar (Nasdaq:ESGR) has decreased to $105.99 per share, a 2.9% fall. The company is currently trading a volume of 28,069 shares.

After a decline of 1.9%, SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) has hit a share price of $142.36. So far today, the company's volume is 90.6 million shares, 0.6 times the current daily average.

At $127.64, IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE:ICE) has slipped 1.9%. So far today, the company's volume is 2.1 million shares. This is on pace to fall short of yesterday's volume of 13.7 million shares.

SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE:DIA) has fallen 1.4% and is currently trading at $131.27 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 5.9 million shares, 1.2 times its average over the past three months.

Falling 1.4%, BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) is currently at a share price of $206.41. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 452,672 shares.

SPDR S&P MidCap 400 (NYSE:MDY) is down 1.3% to reach $185.58 per share. The company's volume is currently 1.6 million shares for the day, in line with the current daily average.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is trading at $128.03 per share, down 1.3%. The company is trading at a volume of 2.8 million shares.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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