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Market Update

U.S. Indexes Struggle on Weak Tech and Healthcare Stocks

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 10:51 AM ET March 03 2015

2:55 PM New York – U.S. market indexes traded lower and struggled to rebound from the mid-day lows as health care and technology stocks turned lower. Crude oil traded above $50 a barrel in New York and gold at $1,200 an ounce. Israeli Prime struggled to make his case to the U.S. lawmakers.

Stocks in New York traded lower and by mid-day popular indexes fell as much as 1%. Tech heavy Nasdaq index rebounded in the last thirty minutes but struggled to hold on the rebound.

On Wall Street trading, Tollbooth Strategy Index slipped 0.5% or 53.64 to 10,725.94.

S&P 500 index slumped 13.60 or 0.6% to 2,103.88 and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 35.33 or 0.7% to 4,972.89.

Crude oil rose 77 cents a barrel to $50.36 and gold fell $3.10 to $1,205 an ounce.

Israel’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a speech to the U.S. lawmakers warned not to strike a deal with Iran in an effort to derail White House’s effort to mend relationship with the most populous nation in the Middle East.

Netanyahu, supported by some of the richest Jewish American citizens, has consistently meddled in the U.S. foreign policy. Israel has never acknowledged but is widely believed to hold one the largest arsenal of nuclear arms after the U.S. and Russia.

Israel also relies on the U.S. aide of at least $3.5 billion a year, one of the largest per capita aide received by any nation from the U.S. for more than fifteen years.

U.S. Movers

Best Buy Co Inc (BBY) climbed 2.2% or 86 cents to $39.41 after the consumer electronics chain reported revenues in the fourth-quarter ending in January rose 1.3% to $14.21 billion form a year ago period. Same store sales in the quarter jumped 2%.

Net income in the quarter surged 77.1% to $519 million or $1.46 per diluted share compared to $293 million or 83 cents from the same quarter last year.

The retailer increased quarterly dividend by 21% to 23 cents per share and will be giving out special one-time dividend of 51 cents per share.

The company announced it will buy back shares for up to $1 billion in next three years.

Ford Motor Company (F) dropped 2.7% or 44 cents to $16.13 after the automobile company said U.S. sales in February slumped 1.9% to 180,383 vehicles from 183,947 vehicles a year ago period.

The company added car sales in the month declined 8.1% to 56,081 units while truck sales jumped 4% to 69,882 units and utilities sales decreased 2.3% to 54,420 units compared to a year earlier.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV declined 3% or 48 cents to $15.35 after the auto-maker reported U.S. sales soared 6% to 163,586 units and the group’s best February sales since 2007.

Jeep brand sales in the month surged 21% and Chrysler brand sales jumped 13%. Sales of the Ram pickup truck increased 7% and Dodge Challenger sales soared 42%.

General Motors Company (GM) fell 6 cents to $37.54 after the automobile company reported sales in the month of February climbed 4.2% to 231,378 units from 222,104 units a year ago month.

GM said sales of trucks, including SUVs, vans and pickups, surged 36% and sales of commercial and fleet vehicles were climbed 12%.

For the year, total sales soared 10.3% and retail sales advanced 7%.

European Markets

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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