The stock market in the United States declined today driven by speculations that the Federal Reserve would increase the interest rates sooner than anticipated.

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In a note to investors, Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius forecasted that the Federal Reserve would increase the benchmark rate in the third quarter next year, earlier than the previous expectation in the first quarter of 2016. The central bank maintained the interest rate target for overnight lending between banks in the range of zero to 0.25% since December 2008.

Tom Stringfellow, the president and chief investment officer at Frost Investment Advisors LLC has a similar opinion regarding the potential increase of interest rate earlier than expected. In a phone interview with Bloomberg, Stringfellow said, “Rates are going to go up before people expect. When rates do go up, I expect some sort of a knee-jerk reaction, but I don’t believe for a moment that the Fed’s going to raise rates at a speed that derails this stable environment.”

Earlier this month, Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen said the concerns regarding financial stability should not prompt any change in the current policy.

U.S. Markets

• Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 17,019.30 (-0.29%)
• S&P 500- 1,976.88 (-0.43%)
• NASDAQ- 4,449.42 (-0.81%)
• Russell 2000- 1,187.65 (-1.70%)

European Markets

• EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,230.92 (-1.21%)
• FTSE 100 Index- 9,906.07 (-0.62%)
• Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,906.07 (-1.03%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

• Nikkei 225- 15,379.44 (-0.37%)
• Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,540.92 (-0.02%)
• Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,176.87(-0.11%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM) gained nearly 2% to $46.50 per share after announcing its agreement to purchase Wild Flavors, a natural food ingredients manufacturer for approximately $3 billion. The analysts at Miller Tabak + Co raised their rating for the stock from Hold to Buy following the announcement.

The shares of GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT) plummeted more than 15% to $16.50 per share after analysts at Cannacord commented that the company is unlikely to achieve an earnings growth in 2016 unless Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) decides to use its sapphire to all iPhone models.

PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PETM) climbed more than 2% to $68.95 per share after its shareholder, Longview Asset Management LLC urged that board of directors of the pet-supply retailer to consider a sale. The proposal of the Longview came after activist hedge fund Jana Partners disclosed a stake in the company and indicated its intention to pursue alternative strategies including a sale to increase shareholder value.