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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
For a second straight day, stocks jumped on bullish data from China, as industrial and retail numbers from the Eastern economic powerhouse both beat expectations. On top of that, the international community seems to be working together to prevent a U.S. military strike on Syria. Russia devised a proposal, set to be put before the U.N., to confiscate chemical weapons from the war-ravaged country. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) added 12 points, or 0.7%, ending at 1,683. Despite the broad market gains, three S&P components stood out as notable decliners Tuesday.
Whenever the world looks like it's not about to crash and burn, the price of gold seems to face headwinds. The precious metal, seen as a safe-haven in uncertain times, often gains in the face of disaster, and with the drums of war ebbing today, so did gold. That means tougher times for gold miners like Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM ) , which lost 3.9% Tuesday as gold fell 1.6% to $1,364 an ounce.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) stumbled 2.3% as the tech giant's heavily anticipated event failed to impress Wall Street. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company showed off two new iPhone models, the 5S and the 5C, as well as its new iOS 7 software. The two new phones are dramatically different: The 5S boasts fingerprint-recognition technology and fancy new sensors on its camera, while the 5C is a plastic model priced for the masses. A lot of the information from today's unveiling had been leaked or rumored already, and the failure to surprise may have contributed to the stock's decline.
Lastly, oil refiner Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC ) was one of the S&P's worst performers for a second straight session, losing 2.2%. Yesterday, Simmons & Company said refiners in general, and Marathon in particular, would struggle with higher prices of oil pressuring margins. Credit Suisse echoed that sentiment today, citing narrowing spreads as it downgraded shares from outperform to neutral. The flipside to the recent negativity surrounding refiners is that if oil prices start unexpectedly falling, Marathon shares could be primed for a rally.
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