The stock markets in the United States ended the trading session with gains today, excluding the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), which declined 0.15%.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Eric Green, director of research and fund manager at Penn Capital Management opined that it seems the consensus view of investors is that “weather is a huge issue in the numbers.” According to him, “Weaker economic numbers have been shrugged off. The outlook looks pretty benign right now. We can probably reach new highs in the near term in the equity markets.”

market news Morning News

Today, the manufacturing data in New York, Northern New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut showed a decline in February. The general economic index of the Federal Bank of New York dropped from 15.5 percentage points in January to 4.48 percentage points this month.

In terms of corporate earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg showed that 74% of those that already reported financial results outperformed the profit estimates while 64% beat the sales estimates of Wall Street analysts.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,130.18 (-0.15%)
  • S&P 500- 1,840.67 (+0.11%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,272.78 (+0.68%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,161.69 (+1.09%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,117.44 (-0.05%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,696.43 (+0.90%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,659.78 (+0.39%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,848.24 (+3.13%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,587.72 (+0.23%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,282.44 (-1.26%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:FRX) jumped 27.52% to $91.04 per share after revealing its agreement to sell itself to Actavis Plc, the second largest drug maker worldwide for $25 billion. The shares of Actavis rose 7.3%. Carl Icahn gained big from his investment in the company. Icahn is the second largest shareholder of Forest Labs, and he pushed for a sale of the company.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) rose almost 3% to $203.70 per share today as the company received bullish recommendations from Wall Street analysts prior to the release of its 2013 financial results. Ben Kallo, analyst at Baird Equity Research, raised his price target for the stock from $185 to $215 per share.

The shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) slightly gained today to $548.99 per share. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Adrian Perica, the head of mergers and acquisition of the tech giant had previously met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk regarding a potential acquisition or partnership.

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) fell 3.75% to $37.47 per share after its CEO Muhtar Kent said the company’s growth in emerging markets is slowing down. The beverage giant will trim its data management and supply costs, and revamp its marketing programs to save $1 billion by 2016.