Friday’s Mid-Day Movers: 3 Stories Driving Markets

The U.S. equity markets were sitting comfortably in green territory at mid-day on Friday, following two days of sharp losses. The minutes of the Fed’s January meeting curbed risk appetite by revealing that some officials were uneasy about on-going asset purchases. However, fears that the Fed would change its policy anytime soon are beginning to dissipate.

At 12:45 p.m.: DJIA: +0.65%, S&P 500: +0.51%, NASDAQ: +0.67%.

Here are three stories that are moving markets on Friday:

1) Once upon a time, economists were projecting economic growth in the euro area in the first quarter of 2013. But like most economic bulls who hope that growth is just around the corner (it’s always the next quarter), prevailing economic headwinds have eroded their optimism, and new data has forced most analysts to revise their expectations.

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Forecasts for first-quarter 2013 GDP movement in the euro zone are now reading -0.3 percent, punctuating 0.6 percent contraction in the fourth quarter of 2012. Germany looks like it could be the only major economy in the region to to increase its output for the period, whereas France, which showed some signs of strength in 2012, could be once again be headed downward… (Read more.)