The stock markets in the United States rebounded today after suffering five-consecutive days of decline. The markets benefited from the increase in consumer spending and gains of equities in the energy sectors.

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Yesterday, the markets were negatively impacted by the decision of Swiss central bank to abandon its minimum exchange rate 1.20 per euro. FXCM, the largest retail foreign-exchange brokerage in the United States was among the hardest hit by the decision of the Swiss National Bank.

Today, data showed that the consumer confidence rose to its highest level in January driven by the continued improvement in the labor market and declining oil prices.

A separate data showed that the cost of living in the United States declined the most in six years, which increases speculations that the Federal Reserve will remain patient regarding the timing of the implementation of an interest rate hike.

[drizzle]On the other hand, energy companies listed in the S&P 500 were among the best performers as the group climbed along with the oil prices. The WTI crude oil increased 4.5% to $48.33 per barrel while the Brent crude oil rose 3.27% to $49.85 per barrel.

Commenting on the market trends, Jeff Sica, president and CEO of Circle Squared Alternative Investments told Bloomberg, “Momentum is ruling the day. The market is so zeroed in on oil prices right now. We’re seeing an oversold bounce amid oil momentum and optimism over ECB QE.”

On the other hand, Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co said, “We’ve traded with oil tick for tick all week, and until we get news from the ECB next week, that’s going to continue.”  He added that investors are worried that “it is very difficult for the economy to grow fast enough.” According to him, the expectations for a rate hike are starting to go away.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,507.78 (+1.08%)
  • S&P 500- 2,019.16 (+1.33%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,634.38 (+1.39%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,173.10 (+1.59%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,202.24 (+1.42%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,550.27 (+0.79%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 10,167.77 (+1.35%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 16,864.18 (-1.43%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,103.52 (-1.02%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,635.15 (+0.86%)

Stocks in Focus

Altisource Portfolio Solutions is one of the highest gainers listed on NASDAQ. The stock climbed 50% to $27.66 per share today.  Last month, its Chairman and largest shareholder, William Erbey stepped down from his position in connection with Consent Order entered into by Owen Financial Corporation with the New York Department of Financial Services.

Courier Corporation gained more than 35% to $19.62 per share after disclosing its agreement to be acquired by Quad/Graphics for approximately $260 million. The shareholders of the company will receive $20.50 per share (a combination of cash and shares of Quad/Graphics common stock).

The shares of Schlumberger Limited rose more than 6% to $81.33 per share after the company reported fourth quarter earnings that beat the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts. The company also announced its workforce reduction and restructuring initiatives to boost profitability.

 

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