The stock markets in the United States lost some of its momentum today. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) as well as the NASDAQ, slightly declined.

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Yesterday, the S&P 500 reached more than 2,000 points, which attracted most of the attention of investors. The index rose nearly 5% since August 7 driven by speculation that the Federal reserve will maintain low interest rates to support the strengthen economy of the United States.

In a phone interview with Bloomberg, Ethan Anderson, senior portfolio manager at Rehmann Financial commented, “The market is not overly expensive, not cheap either. In the absence of strong corporate earnings, you are not necessarily going to see a huge surge in equities over the next 12 months. But the little notch up, on a regular basis, you’re likely to see continue.”

On the other hand, Doug Foreman, the chief investment officer at Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management believed that the businesses in the U.S. are doing very well. According to him, “We’re in a situation where there are still some macro risks, but they are overwhelmed by the micro, which is surprisingly good.”

Meanwhile, Richard Hunter, the head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Plc in London opined, “U.S. markets continue to defy geopolitical worries.” He added, “Many of the blocks are in place for the equity markets to make further progress.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 17,119.12 (+0.07%)
  • S&P 500- 1,999.85 (-0.01%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,569.62 (-0.02%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,172.82 (-0.20%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,194.45 (-0.10%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,830.66 (+0.12%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,569.71 (-0.19%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 15,534.82 (+0.09%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 25.918.75 (-0.62%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,327.60 (+0.15%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Caesars Entertainment Corp (NASDAQ:CZR) declined nearly 3% to $13.38 per share. Analysts at Imperial Capital reduce their price target for the stock from $17 to $9 per share. The shares of Caesars Entertainment declined more than 37% year-to date.

Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR) surged more than 13% to $16.45 per share after the specialty apparel and accessory retailer reported adjusted earnings of $0.08 per share for the second-quarter on $481 million in revenue. Wall Street analysts expected the company to deliver break-even adjusted earnings on $457 million in revenue.  Express also raised its earnings forecast in the ranges of $0.85 to $0.90 per share for the full year 2014. The company previously estimated to achieve full-year earnings of around $0.74 to $0.90 per share.

The shares of Michaels Companies (NASDAQ:MIK) gained more than 9% to $16.54 per share after the arts and crafts retailer posted second-quarter earnings that beat the estimates of Wall Street analysts.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (NASDAQ:SWHC) declined more than 13% to $11.31 per share after the company reduced its full-year 2014 profit and sales forecast. The gun maker expected to achieve full-year earnings in the range of $1.30 to $1.40 per share and sales of around $585 million to $600 million.