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Standard & Poor's


08/27/14 04:39:29 PM

S&P Market Commentary

... Stocks were mostly flat in midday trading Wednesday after wavering between small gains and losses through much of the morning. Investors had their eye on a batch of company earnings and the latest corporate deal news. Trading volume was light ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend. KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 fell a point to 1,998 as of 12:19 p.m. Eastern. It closed above 2,000 points for the first time the day before. The Dow Jones industrial average was little changed at 17,106. The Nasdaq composite dipped about one point to 4,569. THE QUOTE: Trading volumes were "extraordinarily light," as many people in the financial sector traditionally take time off the last week of August, said Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors. "Highs made on lower volumes should be viewed suspiciously," he said. "It will be important that next week, when everyone has returned to their desks, that these levels are maintained and confirmed." SECTOR VIEW: Six of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index fell, led by financial stocks. Garmin declined most among companies in the S&P 500. The stock fell $2.12, or 3.7 percent, to $55.33. ELEGANT RESULTS: Tiffany rose $1.14, or 1.1 percent, to $101.92 in morning trading. The jewelry company's latest quarterly earnings beat Wall Street's forecasts. EARNINGS BEAT: Express reported lower income and sales in its fiscal second quarter, but the clothing retailer's results trumped financial analysts' expectations. Its shares surged $1.75, or 12 percent, to $16.34. PRESCRIPTION TO BUY: U.S. medical device maker Medtronic bought privately held Italian company NGC Medical S.p.A. for $350 million. NGC manages cardiovascular suites, operating rooms and intensive care units for hospitals. Medtronic already held a 30 percent stake in the business. Medtronic slipped 9 cents to $63.43. LACKLUSTER FORECAST: The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday it predicts the U.S. economy will grow by just 1.5 percent this year. The forecast reflects the severe winter weather that hurt growth in the first-quarter. OVERSEAS ACTION: In Europe, stocks and bonds have been rising since last week on hopes of more central bank stimulus, but that rally lost steam Wednesday. Germany's DAX slipped 0.2 percent and France's CAC-40 was little changed. Britain'sFTSE 100 gained 0.7 percent. BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.37 percent. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 37 cents to $93.49 a barrel in New York. Gold fell $1.50 to $1,283.70 an ounce. AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach in Tokyo contributed to this report.


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