The stock markets in the United States declined again due to an unexpected decline in consumer confidence. The downward movement of the market was also impacted by the weakness of equities of small-cap and energy companies.

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence index dropped to 86 this month, lower than the expectations of economists polled by Bloomberg. Last month, the consumer confidence rate was 93.4, the strongest since October.

“Consumer confidence retreated in September after four consecutive months of improvement. A less positive assessment of the current job market, most likely due to the recent softening in growth, was the sole reason for the decline in consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions,” according to Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.

On the other hand, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values showed a 6.7% increase from July last year, which is the smallest 12-month gain since November 2012.

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Yesterday, the Department of Commerce reported that the consumer spending rose 0.5%, and personal income climbed 0.3% in August.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Craig Fehr, a Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones commented, “It’s quarter-end; investors are parsing out the economic data and the geopolitical landscape.”

Fehr added, “Investors are trying to digest all of this news, and we’re here at the end of the month and end of the quarter so there’s some short-term repositioning in the market.”

On the other hand David Kostin, chief equity strategist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) said, The idea of earnings growing is going to be the more vital issue over the next year, as opposed to P/E expansion. The idea of an expanding economy is what drives sales.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 17,042.93 (-0.17%)
  • S&P 500- 1,972.30 (-0.28%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,493.39 (-0.14%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,105.51 (-1.11%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,225.93 (+1.22%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,622.72 (-0.36%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,474.30 (+0.55%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 16,173.52 (-0.84%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,932.98 (-1.28%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,450.99 (+0.13%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) continued to decline after stating that it will miss its target profit for the full year. The stock declined 2.1% to $14.79 per share today. The automaker’s stock plummeted more than 7% yesterday.

eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) gained 7.54% to $56.63 per share after the company announced that it would spinoff  PayPal next year. Activist investor, Carl Icahn praised the company’s decision.

The shares of Move Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE) surged more than 37% to $20.96 per share after News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) agreed to acquire the real-estate listing service provider for $950 million. News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said the acquisition will accelerate the company’s digital and global expansion.

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