U.S. stock markets experienced a sell off today as investors try to evaluate economic data to determine the timing of a potential reduction of the $85 billion quantitative easing of the Federal Reserve as well as the negotiations on the federal budget.

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Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG told Bloomberg that some investors are a little concerned regarding the prospects on the upcoming meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and the budget deal.

“In front of the prospect of a budget deal and the Fed’s meeting next week, there’s a little bit of nervousness. You’re inclined to trade sideways and I think that’s what’s happening. We had a very strong day on Friday, so some digestion of a more than 1 percent move up is not out of the question,” said Greenhaus.

On the other hand, Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at RW Baird & Co. opined, “This is typical December action. It is caused by tax-related moves by investors. You get a lot of people selling areas of the market that underperformed for tax losses, and they match those with a little bit of selling in some of the winners.”

Based on the survey conducted by Bloomberg, twelve economists projected that the Federal Reserve will begin the scale back of the monthly bond-buying program during its meeting on December 17 to 18. Others projected it would be in March next year.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15,973.13 (-0.33%)
  • S&P 500- 1,802.62 (-0.32%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,060.49 (-0.20%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,120.22 (-0.82%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 2,960.86 (-0.93%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,523.31 (-0.55%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,114.44 (-0.88%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 15,611.31 (-0.25%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,744.19 (-0.28%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,453.32 (+0.10%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Analogic Corporation (NASDAQ:ALOG) dropped by more than 6% to $86.59 per share after the company’s first quarter financial performance missed the expectations of Wall Street analysts. Its earnings declined 89% to $0.06 per share compared to the $0.87 earnings per share estimate of analysts. Its revenue was $110.1 million, lower than the $131.5 million estimate.  Analogic CEO James Green said the medical imaging business of the company suffered due to purchasing delays by its manufacturing clients.

The shares of Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY) plummeted over 7% to $12.38 per share after reporting lower than expected same store sales for the third quarter. The auto-parts retailer’ same store sales declined 2.8%.  The company posted $0.02 earnings per share on $507 million revenue.

Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS) gained more than 12% to $9.58 a share after the company agreed to settle a patent dispute. Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) agreed to pay $280 million to Rambus over the next seven years for the license to use any of its patents for the manufacture of integrated-circuit products. Analysts at JP Morgan viewed the settlement as a positive as it reduces the company’s legal expenses next year while opening additional licensing opportunities.

The stock value of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) climbed 5.76% to $51.97 per share, which is almost two times its $26 IPO price. There is no significant announcement from the company today. Last Friday, Evercore analyst Ken Sena lifted his price target for the stock from $43 to $52 per share citing that the deployment of “targeted audiences” technology might not be as costly compared with his original estimate.