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March 15 Market Close: GovCon Index Posts Loss, US Markets Hedge Ahead of Fed Statement

GovConIndexDOWNThe GovCon Index traded in negative territory throughout the session Tuesday and closed at a decline of 0.355 points to 73.388 as U.S. stocks also held marginally downward ahead of the scheduled Wednesday afternoon statement from Federal Reserve policymakers when their two-day meeting concludes.

Index stock Vectrus (NYSE: VEC), a Colorado Springs-based government technology and communications services contractor, was scheduled to release its full 2015 and fourth quarter results after the market close.

All three major U.S. stock indices opened lower on commodity price declines with crude oil futures settled down 2.26 percent to $36.34 a barrel and copper also down.

A late surge in Apple’s stock lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average to close at a gain while declines in healthcare shares weighed on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indices.

Investors do not expect the Fed to raise interest rates at its current meeting but will examine the central bank’s statement for language that signals a potential rate hike in June, CNBC reported.

Markets also reacted to new data that showed U.S. producer prices have held flat over 12 months but declined 0.2 percent in February and retail sales declined 0.1 percent in February with January’s decline revised to 0.4 percent compared to the earlier 0.2 percent reading, according to CNBC.

Top GovCon Index Gainers

Symbol Company $ Current Price Net Change % Change
NOC Northrop Grumman* 191.67 3.10 +1.64%
HII Huntington Ingalls Industries 134.33 1.72 +1.30%
RTN Raytheon* 122.72 0.92 +0.76%
GIB CGI Group 43.35 0.11 +0.25%
LMT Lockheed Martin* 217.05 0.45 +0.21%

*Also listed in the S&P 500 composite index

Market Summary

Advancing GovCon Index Issues 8
Declining GovCon Index Issues 22
Unchanged GovCon Index Issues 0
Index Value Net Change % Change
GovCon Index 73.388 -0.355 -0.481%
S&P 500 2, 015.93 -3.71 -0.18%
Dow Jones Industrial Average 17, 251.53 +22.40 +0.13%
NASDAQ 4, 728.67 -21.61 -0.45%

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