The stock markets in the United States fluctuated and eventually ended the trading session with mixed results today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 gained 0.35% and 0.18% respectively. The NASDAQ fell 0.2%, and Russell 2000 dropped 0.2%.

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market news Morning News

Commenting on the market trends, Terry Morris, a senior equity manager at National Penn Investors Trust Co. told Bloomberg, “The market wants to see some sales growth, but we haven’t seen it yet. Retail sales gave us something to more or less yawn at. The market will go as earnings go for the next couple of weeks.”

The Department of Commerce reported the retail and Food services sales increased 0.9% to $441.4 billion (adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday) in March from the previous month.

[drizzle]A separate report showed that the cost of wholesale prices increased in March, which helps strengthen the conviction of policymakers at the Federal Reserve that the inflation will move towards their target.

Meanwhile, Peter Dixon, an economist at Commerzbank AG said, “We’re starting to hit the reporting season, which is going to be a major driver for the next few weeks. The market is not looking for a good set of numbers as demand has been hit by a stronger dollar, but the numbers for financials are expected to be reasonably decent for this quarter.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) maintained its global growth forecast at 3.5%. The crisis lender indicated that the swings in currency markets and the decline of oil prices were reshaping the global economy.

The IMF are reduced its U.S. growth outlook for the United States to 3.1%, but it is still the fastest growing among the developed countries. Yesterday, Fitch Ratings affirmed the AAA credit rating of the United States due to the strength of the country’s economy, capital markets and status as the issuer of reserve currency around the world.

U.S. Markets

• Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 18,039.37 (+0.35%)

• S&P 500- 2,096.10 (+0.18%)

• NASDAQ- 4,977.29 (-0.22%)

• Russell 2000- 1,265.32 (-0.02%)

European Markets

• EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,784.53 (-1.16%)

• FTSE 100 Index- 7,075.26 (+0.16%)

• Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 12,227.60 (-0.90%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

• Nikkei 225- 19,908.68 (+0.02%)

• Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 27,561.49 (-1.62%)

• Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 4,438.18 (+0.39%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Avon Products surged more than 8% to $8.67 per share driven by the report that the company is considering a sale of its business unit in North America while evaluating options to turn it around. People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the company is conducting a formal sales process. The stock climbed further by 5.88% to $9.18 per share during the extended-hours trading around 4:12 P.M. in New York.

The shares of Norfolk Southern declined more than 4% to $100.49 per share. The company was negatively impacted by its profit warning for the first quarter due to lower-than-expected revenue as coal shipments remain under pressure.

Norfolk Southern estimated that will achieve $1 in earnings per share on $2.6 billion in revenue for the quarter, lower than the $1.25 in earnings per share on $2.67 billion in revenue expected by analysts.

Chinese online marketplace 58.com rallied more than 33.5% due to the report that entered a merger agreement with Ganji.com. The merger will create one of the largest, specialized online classified companies in China.

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