The stock markets in the United States rebounded after experiencing five consecutive days of losses.

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Investors became optimistic after the minutes of the meeting of the Federal Reserve indicated little signs of a policy change regarding interest rates.

The Fed previously states that it can be patient when it comes to increasing the interest rates. The latest minutes showed that policy makers are unlikely to raise interest rates before April and they concerned that the inflation could remain too low.

Some policy makers said the economy “may end up showing more momentum than anticipated” because of the business and consumer confidence and the improvement of the labor market.

[drizzle]The ADP Research Institute reported that U.S. companies added 241,000 jobs in December. The Department of Labor is scheduled to release its jobs report on December 9. Economists forecasted a gain of 240,000 jobs and the unemployment rate will decline to 5.7%.

A separate report showed that the traded deficit declined more than anticipated in November. The U.S. petroleum imports fell to its lowest level in more tha five years.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Stephen Wood, chief market strategist at Russell Investments commented, “From the Fed’s perspective, they’re seeing more of the same. The Fed has used forward guidance more effectively and the markets are responding to a consistent message and consistent policy path. The takeaway is the Fed isn’t changing anything any time soon.”

On the other hand, Randy Bateman, chief investment officer at Huntington Asset Advisors said, “We had some good economic news and the market got tired of going down.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,584.52 (+1.23%)
  • S&P 500- 2,025.90 (+1.16%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,650.47 (+1.26%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,173.49 (+1.05%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,026.79 (+0.63%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,419.83 (+0.84%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,518.18 (+0.51%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 16,885.33 (+0.01%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,681.26 (+0.83%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,643.79 (+0.08%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Herbalife suffered another 4% decline to $31.72 per share today.  The stock declined after activist investor Bill Ackman said he is doing “God’s work” in his campaign against Herbalife. He believes that the company is a pyramid scheme.

J C Penney gained more than 20% to $7.89 per share after the company said its comparable store sales in the fourth quarter will be in the upper end of its estimated 2% to 4% growth rate.

The shares of Monsanto increased 1.25% to $117.21 per share. Its earnings and revenue for the first quarter were better than anticipated driven by the strong sales of its genetically modified soybean that could survive pests in South America.

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