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Stocks Retreat From Record Highs as Fed Report Looms


    After the Dow and S&P 500 notched more record highs yesterday, the domestic equity markets are trading lower in afternoon action, with the Street awaiting the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's October meeting. Meanwhile, a plethora of upbeat earnings reports from the retail sector are failing to boost stocks, with Target Corp beating the Street's quarterly forecasts, along with Lowe's Companies and Staples, while PetSmart topped analysts' profit forecasts and is getting a boost from buyout chatter. Treasuries are lower following the housing report, which … [Read more...]

Mixed Markets Amid Massive M&A Reports


    The U.S equity markets are mixed in afternoon action, with some large corporate deal news offsetting global growth concerns as an unexpected contraction in Japanese GDP growth for the second-consecutive quarter met the technical definition of a recession. Treasuries are trading lower despite the global growth concerns and as U.S. economic reports showed industrial production and capacity utilization both missed expectations and regional manufacturing growth accelerated by a slightly smaller amount than forecasted. In equity news, Dow member Pfizer agreed with Germany's Merck … [Read more...]

Stocks Slightly Higher in Light Holiday Volume

Dow Continues To Soar To Record Levels

    The domestic equity markets are trading modestly to the upside in early action, tacking onto yesterday's record highs for the Dow and S&P 500, though volume is lighter than usual amid the Veterans Day holiday, which has the U.S. bond markets closed. Meanwhile, domestic small business optimism improved slightly more than expected for October. In equity news, D.R. Horton missed the Street's earnings expectations, but offered an upbeat outlook, while Caesars Entertainment posted a much larger-than-expected loss. Gold is higher, while the U.S. dollar is flat and crude oil … [Read more...]

Equities Nudge Higher Ahead of Consumer Data


      Coming off a third-straight weekly advance that took the Dow and S&P 500 back to record highs, the U.S. equity markets are gaining modest ground in late-morning action, ahead of key reads later this week on the consumer from both the domestic earnings and economic calendars. Meanwhile, U.S. data is relatively light today, with no reports scheduled on the economic docket, though Dow member McDonald's Corp posted better-than-expected October same-store sales and Toll Brothers issued stronger-than-expected preliminary 4Q revenues. Treasuries are lower, along with … [Read more...]

Stocks Flat on Earnings and Following Job Report


  The U.S. equity markets are nearly unchanged in late-morning action following a mixed October domestic nonfarm payroll report. The release showed although job gains missed forecasts and wage growth continued to be lackluster, the steady pace of growth was maintained and the unemployment rate unexpectedly dipped. Meanwhile, the Street is digesting some disappointing corporate reports, with Dow member Walt Disney's slightly better-than-expected earnings being overshadowed by some analyst uncertainty. Moreover, Humana missed analysts' quarterly expectations and Transocean delayed its 3Q … [Read more...]

Stocks Modestly Higher Following Data and ECB Decision


      The U.S. equity markets are slightly higher in afternoon action, following some upbeat domestic economic data, while the European Central Bank's (ECB) press conference after it left its monetary policy unchanged is causing some volatility. ECB President Draghi sounded a dovish tone and disputed media reports claiming dissention among the ranks of the central bank. The European equity markets finished mostly higher as the ECB's decision overshadowed a softer-than-expected German factory orders report and disappointing earnings results out of the French banking … [Read more...]

Stocks Higher as Balance of Power Shifts on Capitol Hill


      The U.S. equity markets are moving higher in early action, on the heels of last night's midterm election results that showed Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress. Moreover, ADP reported stronger-than-expected U.S. private sector job growth, ahead of reads on domestic services sector activity. Treasuries are moving lower on the gains for stocks, while gold prices are falling and the U.S. dollar is gaining ground. Elsewhere, crude oil prices are mixed after yesterday's drop. In equity news, Time Warner topped the Street's profit forecasts, while … [Read more...]

Elect or Erect

Elect or Erect2

      by Larry Levin   Who would have thought we’d be happy to have the TV networks once again dominated by Viagra ads? The commercials can now speak to who needs help getting erected instead of elected. The midterm elections are over and the Republicans have regained the majority in both houses. As for the markets, they have temporarily taken this as a positive sign as the S&P futures were higher overnight.  Since 1950, the S&P 500 jumped 16%, on average, in the six months following midterms. Things are not positive however for crude oil as … [Read more...]

Stocks Declining on Oil-Related Weakness


        The domestic equity markets are moving lower in early action, with crude oil prices continuing to sell-off to weigh on oil-related stocks, while the U.S. trade deficit widened more than projected in September. Meanwhile, European stocks are mostly lower on the weakness in oil & gas issues and as the European Commission lowered its growth forecasts for the eurozone. Elsewhere, Asian stocks finished mixed, while Japanese markets returned to action following yesterday's holiday, remaining in rally mode on the heels of Friday's surprising monetary policy … [Read more...]

Stocks Dipping Following Global Business Activity Data

Digital Globe

        The domestic equity markets are moving mostly lower in early action, coming off a second-straight weekly rally, as traders are digesting some lackluster eurozone and Chinese manufacturing reports, ahead of releases out of the sector in the U.S. later this morning. Treasuries are mixed ahead of the reports and gold prices are lower, while crude oil and the U.S. dollar are higher. In equity news, U.S. digital advertising company Sapient Corp agreed to be acquired by French communications group Publicis Groupe valued at about $3.7 billion. Elsewhere, … [Read more...]