The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 declined by 0.16% and 0.13% today, respectively, while the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 recorded slight gain. Investors are evaluating economic data to see signs as to when the Federal Reserve will start reducing its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program.

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The ADP National Employment Report indicated that the private sector added 215,000 jobs in November. The figure is higher than the 178,000 estimate.  The Department of Labor is scheduled to release its jobs report on Friday. Economists are projecting that the agency will report that the unemployment rate declined to 7.2%.

The Fed’s Beige Book business survey showed that the housing, manufacturing and technology sector expanded, helping the economy to improve from its modest to moderate pace early in October until the middle part of November.

Commenting on the market situation, Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Associates told Bloomberg, “The market just seems real jittery. We’ve got maybe 20 trading days left in the year, and it’s been a really good year. Investors are a little bit on edge. They’d like to close the books out today if they could.”

On the other hand, Ben Schwartz, chief market strategist at Lightspeed Financial Inc said, “Everyone’s worried about the taper. It’s a really delicate situation with the amount the market has run up this year. People are kind of questioning their positions and there’s still a lot of uncertainty with the economy.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15,889.71 (-0.16%)
  • S&P 500- 1,792.83 (-0.13%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,038.00 (+0.02%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,124.06 (+0.02%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 2,991.76 (-0.73%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,509.97 (-0.34%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,140.63 (-0.90%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 15,407.94 (-2.17%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,728.70 (-0.76%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,475.14 (+1.32%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Ambit Biosciences Corp (NASDAQ:AMBI) declined 33% to $8.56 per share. The company revealed that it is hoping to file a new application for its lead drug quizartnib, a treatment for relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia by using its phase 2 and 2b data. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it will not support any accelerated pathway to gain the agency’s approval. The company need to a phase 3 study for quizartnib to submit another application to the FDA.

BIND Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:BIND) gained more than 14% to $10.92 per share after receiving positive ratings from Wall Street analysts for its experimental cancer drug and technology. Analysts at Cowen & Co., Credit Suisse, and Stifel Nicolaus issued a Buy rating or its equivalent for the stock. They noted that the early data for BIND-014, a version of the chemoteraphy drug docetaxel is promising.

The stock price of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) rose 1.64% to $38.94 per share. The company’s transaction to acquire the Devices and Services business of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) received approval from the European Commission. Earlier this week the United States Department of Justice also approved the transaction.