The stock markets in the United States retreated today after achieving new record-highs yesterday. The NASDAQ reached above 5,000 points yesterday, but it failed to maintain its momentum as it closed 0.56% lower today.

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Today, the stock markets were negatively impacted by the weak performance of equities in the healthcare and technology sector.

Commenting on the market trend, Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management told Bloomberg, “The biggest thing is we’re at the record highs and a lot of people, at the margin, are taking profits.” He added that the big momentum sectors such as consumer cyclicals, health care and technology are getting hit today.

Meanwhile, investors will be monitoring economic reports this week to look for signs as to when the Federal Reserve would increase interest rates. Yesterday, legendary investor, Stanley Druckenmiller commented that the central bank has the golden opportunity to raise interest rates right now.

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Investors are also waiting for the European Central Bank (ECB) to release more details regarding its debt-purchase program. ECB President Mario Draghi previously announced a %1.2 trillion quantitative easing program to help accelerate growth in the Eurozone and prevent deflation.

Witold Bahrke, an asset-allocation strategist at Nomura International Plc commented, “This week is very much about the ECB and the jobs report. We had a very strong run in the recent week. It’s only natural that people will step a bit more into the sidelines, especially when you’re heading into these big events at the end of the week when we could see larger moves.”

 U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 18,203.37 (-0.47%)
  • S&P 500- 2,107.78 (-0.45%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,979.90 (-0.56%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,235.03 (-0.61%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,549.11 (-1.17%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,889.13 (-0.74%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,280.36 (-1.14%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 18,815.16 (-0.06%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,702.78 (-0.74%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,507.90 (-2.59%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Alibaba Group Holding declined to its lowest level at $80.03 per share earlier today, since its initial public offering. The shares of the Chinese e-commerce giant recovered a bit, but it still down almost 3% to $81.58 per share by the end of the trading session. Yesterday, Taiwanese regulators ordered Alibaba to shut down its operations in the country within six months because of its failure to disclose relevant information regarding its shareholdings.

Barclays declined 2.66% to $15.66 per share in New York after reporting an 8% decline in annual adjusted net income to £25.7 billion. The British bank said its adjusted profit before tax rose 12% to £5.5 billion. Its CEO Anthony Jenkins said the bank is a stronger business with better prospects today/

The shares of Micron Technology dropped 5% to $29.66 per share. Nomura analyst Romit Shah downgraded his rating for the stock to Neutral and lowered his price target to $30 per share.

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