Closing Update: Stocks Retreat Off Record Levels as Russian Cease-Fire Raises Doubts, Beige Book Disappoints, Apple Flops

By Staff,

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Stocks surrendered most of Wednesday's early gains tied to a possible cease-fire in Ukraine after a disappointing Federal Reserve Beige Book and doubts surrounding the sincerity of Moskow's agreement with Kiev caused equities to drift lower for most of the afternoon. Although the Nasdaq Composite touched another record high at the open, the tech-heavy index underperformed its counterparts largely due to heavy losses in Apple ( AAPL ). The iPhone maker, which continues to be plagued by a recent security breach, lost more than 4% in value in the wake of today's launch of Samsung's Gear S at the Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin.

After the open, equities began to drift off their highs in the wake of a miss in July factory orders. Although the +10.5% core was close to +10.9% estimates, the data was again heavily skewed by transportation orders. Ex-transportation, factory orders were down 0.08%, giving Wall Street an excuse to book profits from opening levels. The retreat was amplified as doubts concerning the cease-fire between Moscow and Kiev materialized when Ukraine accused Putin of using a cease-fire as little more than a veiled attempt to avoid further sanctions ahead of the NATO meeting on Thursday.

The Beige Book was largely a non-event; the Federal Reserve continues to label economic growth moderate to modest, with most regions reporting growth in real estate, consumer spending and automobile sales. Skilled workers are still in shortage in certain districts, while manufacturing was mixed. The release exacerbated the move lower in equities as it did not provide any evidence of more robust economic growth.

Finally, global equities remain underpinned by tomorrow's trifecta of central bank activity. On Thursday, the European Central Bank, Bank of England and Bank of Japan will conduct policy meetings. The ECB and BOJ are expected to introduce additional methods to stimulate their respective economies using tools such quantitative easing similar to that used by the Federal Reserve.

Here's where the markets stand at the close:


Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 10 points (+0.1%) at 17,078

S&P 500 was down 1.5 point (-0.1%) at 2,000

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 25 points (-0.6%) at 4,572


FTSE 100 was up 0.65%

Nikkei 225 was up 0.38%

Hang Seng Index was up 2.30%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 1.00%


(+) ISNS (+16.19%) Continues to rally on demand for law-enforcement body cameras

(+) INFI (+44.05%) Will collaborate with AbbVie ( ABBV ) on commercialization of Duvelisib cancer treatment

(+) CBLI (+39.55%) Has enough data to apply for pre-emergency use authorization for radiation treatment


(-) HELE (-10.40%) FY 2015 earnings and revenue forecasts are well-below street estimates

(-) AAPL (-4.22%) Samsung launched its new Samsung Gear device at event in Berlin

(-) VNCE (-11.54%) Reports Q2 gain, raises FY14 adjusted EPS guidance

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing Commodities
Referenced Stocks: AAPL , ABBV

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