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Daily Stock Market News & Commentary

Our team of analysts keeps you abreast of the latest stock market data, news, market activity, and economic reports in our daily stock market commentary (updated three times daily).

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April 17, 2015

DJIA: 18,105.77
S&P 500: 2,104.99
Nasdaq Composite: 5,007.79

Stock index futures are headed lower. The Dow and S&P are both off about 0.6%. The NASDAQ is down 0.7%.

The major averages are poised to open lower as a round of profit taking ensues. In economic data, CPI for March rose 0.2%, below estimates of 0.3%. At 10:00 am ET, the U. of M. sentiment index for April is expected to increase and the leading index of economic conditions in March is projected to climb.

In corporate activity, earnings are the main driver. American Express is tumbling 1.9% to $79.35 and General Electric is losing 0.3% to $27.20 after both missed earnings expectations. Schlumberger is rallying 2.4% to $94.10 following strong quarterly results and plans to trim its workforce by 11,000. Reynolds American posted impressive earnings, pushing the company’s shares up 1.4% to $75.30.

European markets finished lower. Christine Lagarde told investors she would not support Greece missing a payment to the IMF. The Euro Stoxx 600 is down 1.5%, London’s FTSE is off 0.9%, Frankfurt’s DAX is losing 1.9%. In Asia markets were mixed. Tokyo’s NIKKEI lost 1.2% on yen strength. China’s Shanghai Composite rose 2.2%, but officials announced increased regulation on margin and short selling after the close.

Treasuries are little changed. The 10-year note is up 3/32 to yield 1.88%.

Commodities are mixed. WTI crude is losing 0.7% to $56.30/barrel ahead of a rig count report at 1:00 pm ET. COMEX gold is up 0.6% to 1204.00/ounce. In FOREX, the dollar is ebbing 0.3% with the euro up 0.5% to $1.0810/EUR and the yen 0.2% stronger to ¥118.83/USD.

April 17, 2015

DJIA: 17,848.36, down 257.41
S&P 500: 2,082.71, down 22.28
Nasdaq Composite: 4935.54, down 72.26

Stocks are sliding lower. The Dow is falling 257 points to 17848. The S&P 500 is losing 22 points to 2082. The NASDAQ is declining 72 points to 4935.

The major averages are retreating as investors take profits as international concerns escalated after strong gains. Chinese officials announced plans to crimp risk by increasing regulation around buying on margin and short selling. IMF Director Christine Lagarde reported that she would not support Greece missing a payment. However, recent reports indicate an increased effort by other leaders to keep the EU intact.

Earnings are fueling the fire. American Express is weighing on financials as it falls 4.9% to $76.95 after the company beat on the bottom line, but reported a lackluster outlook. Industrials are also lower as Honeywell loses 1.7% to $102.13 on mixed quarterly results. Schlumberger is bucking the trend. After a strong quarterly report and announcing 11,000 layoffs, shares are gaining 0.35 to $91.92.

Data showed March’s consumer prices rose 0.2%, less than anticipated. April’s consumer sentiment increased more than expected but gains in March’s index of leading economic indicators missed estimates.

Breadth is negative on issues by 4-1 on the NYSE and 2-1 on the NASDAQ. NYSE composite volume totals more than 1.5 billion shares.

Treasuries are mixed with the benchmark 10-year note up 4/32 to yield 1.87%.

In commodities, WTI crude is off 1.3% to $55.99/barrel ahead of today’s rig count report. COMEX gold is up 0.5% to $1204.40/ounce. In FOREX, the dollar is up 0.2% with the euro up 0.1% to $1.0776/EUR and the yen little changed at ¥119.00/USD.

April 17, 2015
DJIA: 17,826.30, down 279.47
S&P 500: 2,081.18, down 23.81
Nasdaq Composite: 4,931.82, down 75.98

Stocks retreated on Friday. The Dow lost 279 points to 17826. The S&P 500 declined 23 points to 2081. The NASDAQ slid 75 points to 4931.

The major averages fell as traders took risk off the table. Chinese officials announced new rules aimed at clamping down on margin purchases and short selling. In the Eurozone, the IMF reiterated an unwillingness to ease Greek deadlines, but other creditors echoed their desire to find a resolution that kept the EU intact.

In data, CPI rose 0.2% in March, failing to meet estimates. A measure of confidence for April increased more than projected, but a leading index of economic indicators for March disappointed analysts.

All 10 of the S&P 500 sectors finished lower. Consumer discretionary was off the most. Comcast lost 2.1% to $58.42 and Time Warner tumbled 5.4% to $149.61 on reports of quashed merger plans. Google weighed on tech stocks as its own antitrust woes sent shares down 2% to $532.74. In earnings, American Express fell 4.4% to $77.32 after missing on the bottom line and reporting lackluster guidance. However, Schlumberger gained 1.1% to $92.86 after posting strong quarterly results and announcing 11,000 layoffs.

Breadth was negative on issues by 9-2 on the NYSE and 4-1 on the NASDAQ.

Treasuries resumed their weekly advance. The benchmark 10-year note rose 8/32 to yield 1.86%.

Commodities were mixed. WTI crude lost 1.2% to $56.03/barrel after posting the biggest weekly gain in over four years. COMEX gold climbed 0.4% to $1202.90/ounce.

For the week, the Dow lost 1.2%, the S&P 500 fell 1% and the NASDAQ retreated 1.3%.