The stock markets in the United States declined after Federal Reserve officials indicated that the central bank will continue tapering its monthly bond-buying program.

market news Morning News

Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas stated that it is hard to argue that further expansion of the balance sheet of the central bank had “much efficacy.” According to him, that is the primary reason why he has been a strong proponent of reducing the large bond-buying program of the Fed. He vowed that he will “continue advocating” for that to happen.

On the other hand, James Bullard, president of the Federal Bank of Saint Louis said the central bank is on target to reduce the quantitative easing. He also expressed that the weaker economic data this year was probably due to the impact of extreme weather conditions.

Last month, the sales of previously owned U.S. homes declined to their lowest level. Data from the National Association of Realtors showed that sales dropped 5.1% to 4.62 million homes due to extreme weather conditions, lack of supply, tight credit, and declining affordability.

Last week, Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen emphasized that the economy is strong enough to withstand continued stimulus reduction. According to her, the Fed will only slow down the pace of tapering in the event of a notable change in the outlook of the economy.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,103.30 (-0.19%)
  • S&P 500- 1,836.25 (-0.19%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,263.41 (-0.10%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,164.63 (+0.22%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,131.67 (+0.32%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,838.06 (+0.37%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,656.95 (+0.40%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,865.67 (+2.88%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,568.24 (+0.78%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,264.29 (-1.01%)

Stocks in Focus

The shares of Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) climbed 5.42% to $17.69 per share after G Asset Management offered to acquire 51% of the company for $22 per share. The investment management firm said it is “extremely confident” that separating the Nook segment from the book-selling business of the company will increase shareholder value.

The stock price of Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) plummeted 21.83% to $8.03 per share after the daily deals company reported fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results yesterday. The decline was caused by its weak profit guidance for the current quarter. The company forecasted that it will be able to incur net losses in the range of $0.02 to $0.04 per share in the first quarter.

Priceline.com, Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) gained 2.54% to $1,315.65 per share after the company posted better-than-expected financial results for the fourth quarter. The largest online travel agent reported $378.1 million net income or $7.14 earnings per share and $1.54 billion revenue.