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[January 14, 2014]


(ENP Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ENP Newswire - 14 January 2014 Release date- 14012014 - A flat start turned into a sell-off for US equities on Monday, with markets falling by their most so far this year, as uncertainty regarding the Federal Reserve's stimulus programme weighed heavily on sentiment.

In spite of Friday's much worse-than-expected jobs report, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said in a speech that he supports 'similar tapering steps' as the one taken in December, adding that the economy is on a 'solid footing'.

Investors were concerned that December's mere 74,000 increase in non-farm payrolls will not have deterred policymakers from reducing its asset purchases at its next policy meeting later this month.

'The prospect of another reduction of stimulus at the end of this month, set against rather lofty valuations has seen investors decide to take some money off the table in a week that sees US earnings start to come in thick and fast,' said Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets.

It will be a busy week in terms of corporate earnings though some analysts have warned that improved profit growth is necessary in order for stocks to continue their advance.

Goldman Sachs strategist David Kostin recently said that the current price-to-earnings multiple on the S&P 500 'is lofty by almost any measure'. He estimates that the benchmark S&P 500 will close the year at 1,900, representing just a 3% gain from current levels.

A number of US bellweathers will be in focus this week with JPMorgan Chase & Co, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup all expected to report their fourth-quarter earnings in the coming days. They are among the 29 constituents on the S&P 500 to release their results this week.

According to a survey of analysts by Bloomberg, earnings for companies on the S&P 500 are expected to have increased by an average 4.9% in the fourth quarter on 1.8% higher sales.

Beam surges on Suntory takeover Beam, the maker of spirits such as Jim Beam and Maker's Mark, advanced after Japanese firm Suntory Holdings said it will buy the company in a $16bn deal. The deal is expected to make Suntory the third-largest manufacturer of distilled drinks in the world. Shares in the US-listed stock jumped by as much as a quarter in morning trade.

Social media group Twitter was also a high riser after Goldman Sachs lifted its price target for the stock from $46 to $65, citing the company's product innovation.

Lululemon Athletica slumped after the sportswear company lowered its profits and sales forecast for the fourth quarter.

Symantec retreated after Morgan Stanley recommended a 'sell' rating for the anti-virus software maker.

MGM Resorts International edged higher as Bank of America upgraded the gaming and hospitality company to 'buy' from 'neutral'.

S&P 500 - Risers Beam Inc. Common Stock (BEAM) $83.42 +24.56% Juniper Networks Inc. (JNPR) $25.32 +7.56% Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $53.12 +6.50% Brown Forman Corp. Class B (BF.B) $78.22 +4.02% F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV) $92.01 +3.94% Xerox Corp. (XRX) $12.21 +1.83% Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) $28.12 +1.52% Netflix Inc. (NFLX) $336.81 +1.41% Expeditors International Of Washington Inc. (EXPD) $44.22 +1.40% Red Hat Inc. (RHT) $57.56 +1.32% S&P 500 - Fallers J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP) $6.72 -8.45% Scripps Network Interactive Inc. (SNI) $76.31 -6.95% Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $393.07 -6.44% Kohls Corp. (KSS) $53.46 -6.19% Symantec Corp. (SYMC) $22.20 -5.41% Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) $283.67 -5.23% McKesson Corp. (MCK) $167.14 -4.73% Tesoro Corp. (TSO) $54.81 -4.69% First Solar Inc. (FSLR) $49.86 -4.06% Gap Inc. (GPS) $38.25 -3.99% Dow Jones I.A - Risers Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $53.12 +6.50% Dow Jones I.A - Fallers Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $34.98 -2.94% Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $73.27 -2.81% Nike Inc. (NKE) $75.18 -2.26% Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $98.55 -1.96% American Express Co. (AXP) $86.99 -1.76% International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) $184.16 -1.66% Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $47.03 -1.51% Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $39.53 -1.50% Chevron Corp. (CVX) $119.25 -1.45% Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $175.88 -1.41% Nasdaq 100 - Risers F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV) $92.01 +3.94% Randgold Resources Ltd. Ads (GOLD) $63.70 +3.46% Vimpelcom Ltd Ads (VIP) $12.24 +1.58% Netflix Inc. (NFLX) $336.81 +1.41% Expeditors International Of Washington Inc. (EXPD) $44.22 +1.40% Sba Communications Corp. (SBAC) $89.12 +0.91% Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) $45.41 +0.80% eBay Inc. (EBAY) $52.54 +0.73% Apple Inc. (AAPL) $535.73 +0.52% Catamaran Corp (CTRX) $50.28 +0.40% Nasdaq 100 - Fallers Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $393.07 -6.44% Symantec Corp. (SYMC) $22.20 -5.41% Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) $283.67 -5.23% Baidu Inc. (BIDU) $171.00 -4.82% Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) $139.34 -4.38% Tractor Supply Company (TSCO) $73.40 -4.15% Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM) $46.30 -3.94% Facebook Inc. (FB) $55.91 -3.50% Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $130.61 -3.40% Twenty-First Century Fox Inc Class A (FOXA) $32.35 -3.32% (c) 2014 Electronic News Publishing -

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