The stock markets in the United States moved slightly with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 up by only 0.07% today.

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The NASDAQ and the Russell 2000 declined 0.37% and 0.74% respectively. Investors’ concern regarding a recession in Japan and the weak performance of the equities of small-cap companies counter-weighed corporate deals.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Chad Morganlander, a money manager at Stifel Nicolaus commented, “I think the central theme for the day is overriding concern that global growth is continuing to decelerate.” He added, “There’s a hope that monetary policy will stay accommodative across the board, which has emboldened risk-taking,

During the previous quarter, Japan slid into recession after the world’s third largest economy failed to withstand the sales-tax increase in April. Japan’s economy dropped 1.6% in an annualized basis last quarter.

[drizzle]Last month, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) expanded its economic stimulus by increasing its monetary base by by ¥80 trillion per year, tripling the size of its purchase of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to ¥3 trillion and real estate purchases to ¥90 billion per year.

In the United States, data showed that the industrial production declined last month due to the weakness of utilities, mines and auto industries. The outlook for the holiday sales is becoming more positive driven by the increasing consumer confidence and the declining gas prices, which could boost factories over the next several months.

ECB President Mario Draghi emphasized that an expansion in manufacturing is needed amid the slowdown in Europe, Japan and emerging markets. He is seeking political action to complement the ECB’s monetary to help boost the region’s economy.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,647.81 (+0.07%)
  • S&P 500- 2,041.18 (+0.07%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,671.00 (-0.37%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,165.16 (-0.74%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,084.79 (+0.81%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,671.97 (+0.26%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,306.35 (+0.58%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 16,973.80 (-2.96%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23.797.08 (-1.21%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,567.10 (-0.54%)

Stocks in Focus

Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD) rose almost 18% to $6.70 per share after analysts at JP Morgan Chase upgraded their rating for the stock to Overweight and raised their price target to $9 per share.

The shares of Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN) dropped nearly 5% after-hours. The company reported earnings for third quarter that missed the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts. The retailer posted $0.35 in earnings per share compared with the $0.41 per share expected by analysts. Urban Outfitter revenue was $814.47 million, slightly higher than the $813.05 million consensus estimate.

The stock price of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) gained more than 2% to $15.54 per share after its CEO Mark Fields said the automaker’s strategy is different from Tesla Motors Inc (NYSE:TSLA) because it is focused on producing electric cars for the masses. Separately, Barron’s issued a report indicating that the Ford’s stock could increase 30% in a year driven by its new aluminum-bodied F-150 truck.

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