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Market Update

S&P 500 Struggles After Largest Weekly Rally in Six Weeks

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 1:21 PM ET March 23 2015

1:20 PM New York Market indexes on Wall Street fluctuated after the S&P 500 index logged its largest weekly gain in last six weeks. Crude oil and gold gained. Existing home sales rose 1.2% in February. On merger Monday, Humana agreed to divest its occupational health services provider Concentra for $1 billion.

Stocks traded sideways after the S&P 500 index registered its largest weekly gain in the last six weeks.

Seasonally adjusted annual rate for existing home sales in February jumped 1.2% to 4.88 million from 4.82 million in January but climbed 4.7% from a year ago month, the National Association of Realtors reported today.

On Wall Street trading, Tollbooth Strategy Index gained 0.3% or 33.63 to 10,612.97.

S&P 500 index rose 4.08 or 0.2% to 2,112.53 and the Nasdaq Composite Index slid 1.02 or 0.02% to 5,025.29.

Crude oil increased 29 cents a barrel to $46.83 and gold climbed $2.10 to $1,186.70 an ounce.

U.S. Movers

Humana Inc (HUM) fell 28 cents to $182.51 after the health insurance company agreed to divest its wholly-owned subsidiary Concentra, the occupational health services provider to MJ Acquisition Corporation for $1.05 billion in cash.

The transaction is expected to close in the second-quarter.

Humana reiterated earnings-per-share for the year between $8.50 and $9.

Kansas City Southern plunged 8.1% or $9.33 to $106.36 after the transportation company reduced revenue guidance for the year to lower single-digit percentage range from fiscal 2014 from previous estimate of mid single-digit growth.

For the first-quarter, the company said lower natural gas prices and negative impact of coal business may leads revenues in energy to drop 10% and 20% decline in coal business.

European Markets

In London trading, FTSE 100 index rose 0.1% or 6.96 to 7,029.47 and in Frankfurt the DAX index dropped 1.3% or 156.64 to 11,882.73.

In Paris, CAC 40 index slumped 0.8% or 39.82 to 5,047.67.

Optimal Payments Plc surged 30.5% to 546.56 pence after the Isle of Man-based online and mobile payment service provider said it may acquire Sentinel Topco Ltd and its subsidiary Skrill Group for about 1.1 billion or $1.19 billion to expand its online payment and digital wallet services.

Pirelli & C. SpA jumped 2% to 15.54 after the China-based National Chemical Corp and a consortium of investors plan to acquire Italy-based tire maker for about 7.1 billion or $7.7 billion.

Asian Markets

Stocks in Tokyo advanced and the Nikkei jumped to a new 15-year high. Japan Tobacco estimated lower than expected decline in operating earnings at the 30th annual general meeting since privatization.

Eisai jumped 20% after the latest study showed effective treatment for Alzheimer disease.

Stocks in Tokyo gained and the Nikkei jumped to a new 15-year high following the market advance in New York.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 194.14 or 1% to 19,754.36 and the broader Topix index increased 11.74 to 1,592.25.

The yen strengthened to 119.81 against a dollar.

Stocks in Mumbai traded lower and rupee gained and indexes in Asia rallied after markets in New York and Europe advanced.

Rupee strengthens 19 paisa 62.27 against one dollar.

The Sensex Index fell 69.06 to close at 28,192.02. The CNX Nifty slid 20 to 8,550.90.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc