The stock markets in the United States ended the trading session lower as investors’ optimism regarding the economic growth was minimized by the weak earnings guidance issued by The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), the largest manufacturer of consumer products worldwide.

Commenting on the movement of the stock markets today, Phil Orlando, market strategist at Federated Investors Inc told Bloomberg, “We’re taking a breather here. Washington has essentially gotten out of the way. Yellen has told us monetary policy will be a continuation of what we’ve seen, and we have a sense of what’s going to happen with the taper.”

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Yesterday, Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen emphasized that the economic growth strengthened and there is a wide improvement in the labor market. She also reiterated the plan of the Fed to continue tapering its bond-buying program in measured steps.

Today, James Bullard, president of the Federal Bank of Saint Louis said the economy is expected to grow 3% or higher. He said, “Right now I think we’re on track” to continue tapering asset purchases and “will be able to move out of the program later this year.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15,963.26 (-0.19%)
  • S&P 500- 1,819.26 (-0.03%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,201.29 (+0.24%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,132.60 (+0.30%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,094.06 (+0.56%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,675.03 (+0.04%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,540.00 (+0.65%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,800.06 (+0.56%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21,285.79 (+1.47%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,291.25 (+0.25%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) dropped 1.71% to $77.49 per share after the company lowered its earnings and sales forecast for the fiscal 2014 to reflect the impact of higher-than expected foreign currency exchange headwinds of around 9%.

The world’s largest consumer products manufacturer estimated that its core earnings will grow in the range of 3% to 5%, lower than previous earnings growth estimates of 5% to 7%.  Procter and Gamble expected its net revenue to increase by 0% to 2% lower than its previous estimate of 1% to 2%.

The shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) declined 3.47% to $349.25 per share after Eric Sheridan, analysts at UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) lowered his rating for the stock from Buy to Neutral and reduced the price target from $450 to $375 per share. According to the analyst, the e-commerce giant might experience difficulty in increasing the fee for Amazon Prime subscription service.

The stock price of Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) climbed 7.21% to $90.27 per share after the company posted better-than-expected fourth quarter revenue. The company reported $0.21 earnings per share, in line with the consensus estimates, but its $212.7 million revenue was higher than the $205.6 million projected by analysts.