The stock markets in the United States declined as investors resumed selling their stakes in small-cap companies.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Jim Russell, a senior equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management commented that investors are nervous in their trading prior to the earnings season for the third quarter. He added that they were “anxious to see how company managements comment on the strong U.S. dollar and overseas revenue.”

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Small-cap equities experience the heaviest selloff last week, which resulted to 1.3% declined in the Russell 2000.  The index closed more than 10% below its record on October 1.

“That came as a big sucker punch out of the blue. It underscores how fragile any rally in the small caps is at this juncture. The small caps are behaving like frightened bunnies,” said Michael Block, chief equity strategist at Rhino Trading Partners LLC.

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Last week, the markets dropped as economic data show signs of weakness in Europe and geopolitical turmoil. Investors were also concerned that the Federal Reserve might increase the interest rates sooner than expected. The central bank is also on schedule to ending its bond-buying program this month.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to release the minutes of its meeting on Wednesday, October 8.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,991.97 (-0.10%)
  • S&P 500- 1,964.84 (-0.16%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,454.80 (-0.47%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,096.03 (-0.79%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,138.67 (+0.17%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,563.65 (+0.55%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,209.51 (+0.15%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 15,890.95 (+0.30%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,315.04 (+0.04%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,450.99 (+0.13%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT) declined more than 92% to $0.83 per share after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company informed the Bankruptcy Court about its intention to operate its business as usual during its reorganization.

The shares of Durata Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:DRTX) surged more than 74% to $24.24 per share after entering an agreement to be acquired by Actavis Plc (NYSE:ACT) for approximately $675 million.

Unilife Corp (NASDAQ:UNIS) gained almost 24$ to $2.69 per share after signing a 15-year commercial agreement with Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) for wearable injectors. The company agreed to become the sole provider of wearable injectors to all of Sanofi’s large-dose volume drugs excluding insulin.

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