A majority of economists (65%) projected that the Federal Reserve, led by chairman Ben Bernanke, will reduce its quantitative easing or bond buying program next month based on a survey conducted by Bloomberg. As a result, the stock market in the United States suffered another decline. However, economists remain positive that the markets will move forward.

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Douglas Cote, chief market strategist at the U.S. Investment Management Unit of ING Groep NV (ADR) (NYSE:ING) commented that the market is “scope-locked” on the tapering of the $85 billion bond buying program of the Fed. According to Cote, “Quantitative easing is creating some excess in the financial system. The last thing Bernanke wants when he finishes his term is to be responsible for the next bubble.”

Yesterday, the markets recorded gains on the positive retail sales data released by the Department of Commerce. Retail sales increased to 0.2% for the month of July after a 0.6% increase in June.

On the other hand, stock in emerging markets recorded gains for the fifth consecutive day led by energy producers. The European region demonstrated that it is exiting from recession. Seventeen (17) countries in the euro zone recorded an increase of 0.3% in gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15, 337 (-0.74%)
  • S&P 500- 1,685 (-0.52%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,669 (-0.41%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,048 (-0.34%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 2,852 (+0.37%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,587 (-0.37%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 8,438 (+0.27%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14, 050 (+1.32%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22, 541 (+1.21%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,349 (-0.42%)

Stocks In Focus

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

The stock value of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) increased by more than 2% and reached as much as $504.25 per share. The upward movement of the stock was propelled by the disclosure of activist investor, Carl Icahn that he acquired a large stake in the tech giant. In addition, analysts and investors are optimistic that upcoming iPhones and iPads of the company will drive growth. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to launch its new devices for the holiday shopping season.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)

Shares of Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) gained by nearly 1% to as much as $14.75 per share today. The stock is the top gainer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI).  Although there is no significant news about the company, investors seem favoring the stock as Morgan Stanley reported that the financial sector is performing well compared with the sectors of the market.

The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD)

The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) declined by nearly 3% to $77.36 per share. The company is the biggest loser in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI). The stock was negatively affected by the recent report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) indicating a decline in mortgage applications for the week ending August 9.

Insys Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:INSY)

Shares of Insys Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:INSY) surged by more than 13% and the stock reached as high as $26.71 per share. JMP Securities reiterated its outperform rating and raised its price target for the stock to $27 per share after the company reported positive earnings results for the second quarter. The company posted $0.26 earnings per share on $18.8 million revenue compared with the -$0.68 losses per share on $3.5 million revenue in the same period a year ago.