Midday Update: Stocks Fall As Taper-Jitters Erodes November Rally

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Stocks are extending losses following a late sell-off yesterday and more taper-friendly economic news. Worries the Federal Reserve will soon begin draining liquidity are also being exacerbated by comments from the head of the Capital Markets Group at the New York Fed who said that the central bank has been using reverse repos since September as a way to introduce more restrictive monetary policy into the market. The Dow Jones Industrials Index is struggling with profit-taking pressure, with blue chips sliding over 100 points into the red, while losses for the Nasdaq Composite index are more modest owing to strength for Apple ( AAPL ) and Tesla Motors ( TSLA ).

Economic data today included strong November auto sales and a 4.9% gain in Redbook same-store sales for the week ended Nov. 30 and followed a 3.8% rise during the prior week.

Monday's sell-off in the U.S. and worries about the Fed's next move permeated European markets with all the major indices closed in the red. And although the European Central Bank and Bank of England are not expected to adjust their respective interest rates at policy meetings later this week, better-than-expected employment data in Spain and an impressive jump in the UK construction PMI suggest an end to easy monetary policy across Europe also is in store.

Crude oil was up $1.95 to $95.77 per barrel. Natural gas was unchanged at $3.99 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $1.30 to $1,223.10 an ounce, while silver was down $0.14 to $19.15 an ounce. Copper was unchanged at $3.17 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 2.11% to $34.39 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 1.14% to $19.57. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 0.44% to 20.87 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.39% to $118.02. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.11% to $18.44.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:

NYSE Composite Index down 57.54 (-0.57%) to 10079.48

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 108.37 (-0.68%) to 15900.40

S&P 500 down 7.16 (-0.40%) to 1793.74

Nasdaq Composite Index down 10.42 (-0.26%) to 4034.84

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei 225 Index up 0.60%

Hang Seng Index down 0.53%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.69%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.95%

CAC 40 down 2.65%

DAX down 1.90%

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index down 0.08%

NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.97%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.73%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) ETRM (+34.0%) Trial data for the company's VBLOCK weight-loss therapy shows it continues to be durable and safe 18 months later.

(+) CNAT (+26.1%) U.S. Food and Drug Administration grants orphan drug status for the company's Emricasan drug candidate - now in Phase IIb testing - to stymie recurrent fibrosis and cirrhosis in liver-transplant recipients.

(+) TSLA (+12.2%) Tesla's Model S was cleared of any safety defect in a review by German transportation regulators.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) KKD (-18.0%) Donut-maker dunked after preliminary FY15 earning guidance expecting $0.71 to $0.76 per share trails expectations by at least $0.03.

(-) LDOS (-10.7%) The company cuts its financial guidance for the 12 months ending Jan. 31, 2014, because of a significantly weaker Q3 performance.

(-) TAXI (-8.5%) Shares tumble after the specialty lender prices public offering of 2.9 million shares of its common stock at $16.40 apiece.



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

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


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , TSLA

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