The stock markets in the United States ended the week lower after President Barack Obama and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that they are ready to implement more sanctions against Russia.

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The escalating tension between Russia and Ukraine overshadowed that positive employment data released by the Department of Labor today.

Ukraine sent armored vehicles and artillery to retake Slovyansk, a stronghold for pro-separatist in the country.  The Kiev government made its move after the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved $17 billion in loans for Ukraine to help prevent default.

In an interview with Bloomberg, John Manly, chief equity strategist at Well Fargo Advantage Funds commented, “The end result is neutral but it’s the positive of the jobs numbers being offset by greater concerns about what’s going on in the Ukraine. There’s more activity over there and that has the market a little bit worried. It’s something we will have to deal with for a while because I don’t see it going away right away.”

On the other hand, Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities explained that investors are inclined to be less long going into the weekend due to the potential military action in Ukraine. He said, “People don’t want to walk in Monday morning and be negatively surprised by a down market because of military action in Europe, so they’re selling off.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor reported that the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs last month, the largest gain since January 2012. Economists estimated additional jobs of 218,000. The unemployment rate declined to 6.7%, the lowest level since 2008.

According to Anthony Valeri, a market strategist at LPL Financial Corp, the jobs report is strong, which suggests that the Federal Reserve will continue to taper its monthly bond buying program. He said, “This is the first strong confirmation we’re unwinding some of the winter weakness.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,512.89 (-0.28%)
  • S&P 500- 1,881.14 (-0.13 %)
  • NASDAQ- 4,123.90 (-0.09%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,128.69 (+0.24%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,177.89 (-0.65%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,822.42 (+0.20%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,556.02 (-0.49%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,457.51 (-0.19%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,260.67 (+0.57%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,158.66 (+0.01%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price Estee Lauder Companies Inc (NYSE:EL) rose more than 4% to $75.56 per share after the beauty and personal products company reported strong profit for its third quarter. The company generated earnings of $213.2 million or $0.54 per share, up from %178.8 million or $0.45 per share in the same period last year. The company’s net sales increased 11% to $2.55 billion from $2.29 billion a year ago.

The stock value of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) dropped 2.35% after the company and Endocyte, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECYT) decided to stop the late-state trial of their experimental drug for ovarian cancer based on the recommendation of an independent safety committee. The shares of Endocyte declined more tham 61% to $6.62 per share.

The shares of Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) increased more than 7% to $221.68 per share after the company reported solid financial results for the first quarter. Its adjusted net income was $236.7 million or $2.32 earnings per diluted share on $1.51 billion revenue.  The company also approved a quarterly cash dividend of $1.25 per common share.