Monday, 20 August 2012

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Debt worries weigh on stock markets by theseoduke

The Wall Street Stock Market has bounced back, after yesterday's sell-off. On February 27, the Dow Industrials plunged 416 points, causing unease among investors.

On Tuesday, February 17, the Dow dropped 416 points, which was 3.3 percent. This was the largest single-day point loss since the day the stock market reopened after the September 11, 2001 attacks, according the CNN.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke calmed investors after he told a House panel the the markets seem to be "working well" and are functioning normally. He also said that the sell off hasn't altered the Fed's view on U.S. economic growth.

After the Federal Reserved Chairman's remarks, the Dow soared more than 100 points.

The Fed Chairman allayed some fears of a slowdown in the in the U.S. and Chinese economies that brought on Tuesday's drop. There were remarks earlier in the week from former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, warned that a U.S. recession could take hold this year. Greenspans remarks may have contributed to Tuesday's declines.

A Commerce Department report that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter. The reading of the gross Domenic product was slightly below expectations, but they were not as low as some investors feared they would be.

Bernanke's comments and the GDP report helped depressed stock prices look a little more attractive. "It's typical that you get a bounce back the next day,; said Joseph V. Battipahlia, Chief Investment Officer and Ryan Bect & Company "Now we're essentially flat on the year. Can we go up from here or down? That sorting-out process will continue now."

According to NASDAQ, Bernanke reassured investors, saying "there didn't seem to be any single trigger for Tuesday's sell-off. He also noted that financial markets "seem to be working well" and that there has been "no material change" in the Fed's expectation for the U.S. economy. In fact, he said today's downward revision of Q4 GDP is "More consistent with our overall view of the economy" than the original report and that there's a "reasonable possibility" that the economy will show signs of strengthening as the year progresses.

"The Fed Chairman also put to rest concerns about sub prime mortgage lending spreading into the broader economy and said he sees no liquidity problem. Both items contributed to yesterday's widespread panic, and have provided an added sense of comfort for bargain hunter believing the sell-off was overdone." According to NASDAQ

NASDAQ reported that Wireless Services were the day's best performing S&P Industry group. Investors applauded Sprint Nextel which showed a 33% rise in their fourth quarter profits.

The biggest gain in the Dow was by Proctor and Gamble, which soared nearly 4 percent. Pharmaceutical maker Merck rose 2 percent after raising its full year earnings forecast. American Express jumped 2.3 percent.

Home builder shares fell amid concerns about the housing slump. New home sales experienced their steepest plunge in 13 years in January, according to a government report. The rising glut of new houses on the market pushed prices lower.

The Commerce Department said gross domestic product, which is the nation's broadest measure of the nation's economic activity, rose 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, versus an earlier estimate of 3.5 percent growth.

The China Shanghai Composite Index fell nearly 9 percent Tuesday. The China Shanghai Composite Index showed a recovery today, helping to boost U.S. stocks.

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