And the biotech firm Myriad Genetics (MYGN) was clobbered. Shares fell 14 percent after Medicare and Medicaid said they will slash the reimbursement rate for the company’s BRCA test to detect genes linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. That prompted a flurry of analyst downgrades.
Overall, the major averages held within a very narrow range on this penultimate day of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 26 points, closing at another record high. But the Standard Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) slipped less than a point, and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) fell 2 points.
As you know, this has been a great year for investors –- the best since the late 1990s. Heading into the final trading day of 2013, the Dow is up nearly 26 percent, the SP has rallied 29 percent and the Nasdaq is the biggest winner, soaring nearly 38 percent.
Among blue chip stocks, Boeing (BA) was the top gainer among the 30 stocks in the Dow Industrials — up 80 percent this year. That’s despite losing nearly 1 percent today.
The only stock in the Dow 30 that’s in the red for the year is IBM (IBM), down about 3 percent.
Walt Disney (DIS) led the Dow’s advance today, gaining about 2.5 percent.
Elsewhere, Crocs (CROX) jumped 21 percent after the giant money management firm Blackstone said it will invest $200 million in the maker of plastic clogs.
Trina Solar (TSL) gained 6.5 percent. The company signed an agreement to build a solar power project in Western China.
Cooper Tire (CTB) rose 5 percent despite calling off an agreement to be acquired by an Indian company.
And then there’s WPCS International (WPCS). It soared on Friday after releasing a trading platform for bitcoins, but it tumbled 22 percent today as its auditor resigned.
The morning Money Minute and afternoon After Market reports will be on a brief New Year’s hiatus. They will return on Thursday.
What to Watch Tuesday:
- Standard Poor’s releases SP/Case-Shiller index of home prices for October, 9 a.m.;
- The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for December, 10 a.m.
–Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.
This is my personal favorite! Think of yourself as a regular monthly bill you have to pay. All you have to do is arrange to have a set amount of money directly deposited from your paycheck into a savings account each month.
I recommend using a separate savings account because if you have access to your funds in your checking account, you’re more likely to spend them. Again, it might hurt a bit at first to take home a little less every month, but trust me, after a while you won’t even notice it’s gone. Here’s a moment when the “set it and forget it” strategy works wonders.
It feels great to be rewarded for your hard work. And it feels even better to spend that hard-earned bonus on something you’ll enjoy, like a trip to France or an iPad. At the same time, the pleasure of a vacation or new gadget is short-lived compared to financial security.
So make a pact with yourself to put every bonus you get from here on out to good use. If you direct 90 percent of your bonuses straight into your savings account as a rule, you’ll still have 10 percent to treat yourself with (plus the comfort of knowing that you’re building a well-earned safety net). I live by this rule.