The stock markets of the United States declined again today due to the weakness of the equities in the commodity and energy sectors, which were negatively impacted by the slumped of copper and oil prices.

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Commenting on the market trends, Kevin Divney, chief investment officer at Beaconcrest Capital Management told Bloomberg, “Having these 200-, 300-point swings, I’m not surprised. We had them on the downside. We had them on the upside. Until we have concrete earnings data in aggregate, the market will be somewhat trend less, and trendless blended with volatility is not a good environment.”

Today, the energy stocks in the S&P 500 declined 1.2%, the second worst performance of the sector as the oil price continued to drop toward $45 per barrel.

Jeff Sica, president and CEO of Circle Squared opined that speculations exist that oil prices would stabilize, but it is not. According to him, “My contention has been that we’re beginning to see some very severe structural damage to the economy as oil prices continue to fall.”

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Investors are expected to evaluate economic data including retail sales, manufacturing in New York and industrial production later this week. Investors will look for signs regarding the strength of the U.S. economy.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,613.68 (-0.26%)
  • S&P 500- 2,023.03 (-0.26%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,661.50 (-0.07%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,180.64 (-0.05%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,133.86 (+1.61%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,542.20 (+0.63%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,941.00 (+1.63%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 17,087.71 (-0.64%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,215.97 (+0.79%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,514.04 (+0.01%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Amazon.com climbed 1.14% to $294.74 per share after Citigroup analyst Mark May upgrade his rating for the stock to Buy from Neutral. According to him, the e-commerce giant has a strong profit growth.

The shares of KB Home dropped more than 16% to $13.87 per share after the company reported that its housing gross profit margin dropped 60 basis points to 17.3% in the fourth quarter. The management of the company also predicted its gross margin for the first quarter of 2015 will fall significantly.

McGraw Hill Financial gained almost 6% to $90.89 per share. The company is expected to settle a case with the United States government in connection with allegations that it misled investors regarding its ratings of mortgage-backed securities prior to the subprime crisis. McGraw Hill Financial is a unit of the S&P.

 

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