The stock markets in the United States fluctuated and eventually ended the trading session lower today. The decline of oil prices negatively impacted the stock prices of energy companies while growth in manufacturing strengthened the U.S. economy.

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The Down Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined 0.14%, the S&P 500 fell 0.0.01%; the Russell 2000 dropped 0.45% while the NASDAQ gained 0.18%.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index increased 2.4% to 59% in October. The new orders index rose 5.8% to 65.8% while the production index increased 0.2% to 64.8% last month. The employment index grew 0.9% to 55.5%. The expansion indicates that the U.S. economy can withstand the end of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program.

China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index declined to 50.8% in October, lower than the 51.2% median estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

[drizzle]Meanwhile five out of the 10 major industries in the S&P 500 climbed. Companies in the utilities and technology industries gained 0.5%. Analysts estimated that the index rose 8% in the third quarter, higher than their previous growth estimate of 4.9%.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Associates said, “We’re continuing to focus on earnings, which by and large seem pretty good. That’s been positive for the market, as has the lack of headlines around international events and Ebola.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,366.24 (-0.14%)
  • S&P 500- 2,017.81 (-0.01%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,638.91 (+0.18%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,168.26 (-0.45%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,082.32 (+1.00%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6487.97 (-0.97%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,251.70 (-0.81%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 16,413.76 (+4.83%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,915.97 (-0.34%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,152.55 (+1.17%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose 1.3% to $109.40 per share as the company discusses a bond sale to investors. The iPhone and iPad maker hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) and Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) to organize the calls to investors, according a person familiar with the matter.

The shares of Covance Inc. (NYSE:CVD) surged more than 25% to $100.57 per share after entering an agreement to be acquired by Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE:LH) for $6.1 billion in cash and stock. The shares of LabCorp dropped more the 7% to $101.23 per share.

Sapient Corporation (NASDAQ:SAPE) gained more than 42% to $24.60 after agreeing to sell itself to Publicis Groupe SA (EPA:PUB) for $25 per share or $3.7 billion. The shares of Publicis Group closed €54.02, down 2.2% today.

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