The stock markets in the United States decline today after recording two days of strong gains. Last week, investors became optimistic regarding the U.S. economic growth after the Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate declined to 5.4% last month.

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The equity markets swung between gains and losses over the past five weeks due to concerns that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates. The markets were also impacted by forecasts that corporate earnings will decline.

Commenting on today’s market trend, Kevin Mahn, president of Hennion & Walsh Asset Management told Bloomberg, “There’s a little malaise in the stock market after the reaction to the last jobs report, and there’s no clear direction from the data.” He emphasized that “best way to characterize the market right now is trendless volatility.”

John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco said policy makers could raise interest rates at any meeting, depending on economic data during an interview with CNBC on Monday.

[drizzle]Meanwhile, the stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region climbed while the European stock markets fell. The People’s Bank of China reduced its benchmark lending and deposit rates by to 5.1% and 2.25%, respectively on Sunday.  The central bank also indicated that the deposit rate ceiling would increase to 150% of the benchmark.

Commenting on the move of the People’s Bank of China, analysts at Barclays said, “We think the persistent deflation risk and still-elevated lending rates point to the need for monetary easing.”

In Europe, the stock markets declined due to investors’ concerns regarding the Greece’s debt crisis.  John Plassard, a senior equity sales trader at Mirabaud Securities said, “The Greek situation is creating a lot of nerves in the market.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 18,105.17 (-0.47%)
  • S&P 500- 2,105.33 (-0.51%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,993.57 (-0.20%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,236.97 (+0.17%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,624.41 (-0.69%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 7,029.85 (-0.24%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,673.35 (-0.31%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 19,620.91 (+1.25%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 27,718.20 (+0.51%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 4,690.53 (+2.90%)

Stocks in Focus

The shares of Actavis climbed more than 3% to $301.74 per share. The company described its financial performance for the first quarter as “exceptional” after achieving a 59% increase in net revenue to $4.23 billion. Its non-GAAP earnings increased 23% $4.30 per share.

The stock price of Dean Foods increased 6.45% to $17.33 per share after reporting better-than-expected quarterly financial results. The company reported adjusted earnings of $0.24 per share, higher than the $0.18 per share expected by Wall Street analysts. Its revenue was $2.051 billion.

Noble Energy declined 6.21% to $46.07 per share after disclosing its agreement to acquire Rosetta Resources for $2.1 billion in an all-stock transaction.

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