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Standard & Poor's


10/22/14 04:46:00 PM

S&P Market Commentary

... NEW YORK (AP) Stocks slipped in afternoon trading on Wednesday, a day after the Standard & Poor's 500 index had its biggest gain of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average is on track to end three days of gains after a stretch of tumultuous trading in recent weeks. KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 57 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,557 as of 1:14 p.m. Eastern time. The S&P 500 slipped three points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,938. The Nasdaq composite fell 14 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,405. YAHOO SURGE: Yahoo jumped $1.89, or 5 percent, to $42.07 after reporting encouraging third-quarter results late Tuesday. Yahoo got a windfall from the recent IPO of Alibaba, the giant Chinese online retailer that Yahoo owns a stake in. Revenue rose slightly from the previous year, a welcome change for a company that has been posting quarterly declines for most of the past five years. BROADCOM JUMPS: The semiconductor company jumped 6 percent, the largest gain in the S&P 500, after reporting earnings late Tuesday that topped Wall Street estimates. The stock rose $2.28 to $39.61. ETrade and Interpublic Group also rose after reporting better-than-expected results. DRUG TROUBLES: Shares of Biogen Idec plummeted 7 percent despite a strong quarter. The drug company said a patient who took its newest multiple sclerosis drug suffered a brain inflammation and later died. The stock dropped $22.46 to $304.31 LOW INFLATION: The government reported that consumer prices rose 1.7 percent in the year to September, below the 2 percent target set by the Federal Reserve. Low inflation has allowed the central bank to keep rates at record lows to help the economy by encouraging lending and hiring. CHEAP OR EXPENSIVE?: With about a fifth of S&P 500 companies having reported earnings and discussed their outlooks, stocks look reasonably priced, at least according to one widely used gauge of value. The index is trading at 15.4 times its expected earnings per share over the next 12 months, according to S&P Capital IQ, a research firm. That is slightly lower meaning cheaper than the average of 16.4 since 2001. Other measures, such as comparing stock prices to sales, suggest that the market may be overvalued. Investors will get a clearer view tomorrow, a big day for earnings across industries. Those reporting include Microsoft, 3M,, Caterpillar and United Continental. EUROPE STIMULUS: As the eurozone teeters on the brink of recession again, speculation is growing that the European Central Bank will step up its purchases of bonds, which puts downward pressure on interest rates. Analysts say the ECB is believed to be buying Italian bonds and might be planning to expand that program to other nations. "Considering the weakness in Europe, the prospect of an increase (in bond purchases) is real," said IG strategist Evan Lucas. EUROPEAN STOCKS: Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 both gained 0.6 percent. Britain'sFTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent. ENERGY AND BONDS: Benchmark U.S. crude contract fell 70 cents to $81.79 a barrel in New York. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.24 percent from 2.22 percent.


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