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29.02.2012 18:07

U.S. stocks were little changed

U.S. stocks were little changed as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke damped speculation about additional stimulus, offsetting better-than-estimated economic data.
Stocks fell as Bernanke gave no signal that further policy easing is under consideration. While describing “positive developments” in the labor market, “the job market remains far from normal,” Bernanke said during the first day of his semi- annual monetary policy report to Congress. He said a recent increase in gasoline prices “is likely to push up inflation temporarily while reducing consumers’ purchasing power.”
Earlier today, stocks gained as data showed the U.S. economy expanded more than forecast in the fourth quarter and business activity accelerated. Benchmark gauges also rallied earlier as euro-area banks tapped the European Central Bank for a record amount of three-year cash in an operation that may boost bond and equity markets.

Dow 12,993.12 -12.00 -0.09%, Nasdaq 2,983.05 -3.71 -0.12%, S&P 500 1,370.87 -1.31 -0.10%

Raw material and energy shares retreated as the S&P GSCI Index of commodities lost 0.7 percent, falling a third day. Newmont Mining slid 3.7 percent to $59.71. Alcoa Inc. declined 1 percent to $10.27. Halliburton Co. lost 1.4 percent to $37.17.
First Solar tumbled 10 percent, the biggest decline in the S&P 500, to $32.75. The company also reduced its 2012 revenue forecast to $3.5 billion to $3.8 billion, compared with a December forecast of $3.7 billion to $4 billion.
Apple rose 1.5 percent to $543.30, gaining for a fifth day. Apple investors are anticipating a sales boost from the company’s latest iPad tablet computer, due on March 7.
News Corp. gained 2.2 percent to $20.25. The company’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch stepped down as executive chairman of the News International U.K. publishing unit following his move to the company’s headquarters in New York. James Murdoch was named News Corp.’s deputy chief operating officer in March 2011, four months before reports of voice-mail interception by tabloid journalists in the U.K. prompted News Corp. to drop its bid for British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc.

29.02.2012 17:32

Oil fell for a third day

Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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