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

Major stocks were dropping again for the third day Friday afternoon, as of 12 p.m.:

DIJA: -0.15% to 15272.12 S&P 500: -0.30% to 1645.61 NASDAQ: -0.29% to 3449.49
Gold: -1.8% to 74.82 Oil: -0.64% to 21.78 U.S. 10-Year: -0.89% to 20.05

Here are three stories helping shape the market on Friday afternoon:

1. Here’s Why Stocks Sparked a Turnaround: The stock market was off to a bearish start in the morning on Thursday as investors reacted to news that the economic slowdown in China brought the HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI into the range of contraction. Beyond that, the Japanese stock market took a severe nosedive as soaring government bond yields scared investors.

The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) dropped as low as 1,635 before upbeat economic data facilitated a mood of bargain hunting. Stocks lost their momentum between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., as the flow of better-than-expected economic reports probably scared investors into thinking that quantitative easing could end sooner than expected… (Read more.)

2. These Americans Don’t Seem Thrilled About Obamacare: Falling just behind the nation’s economy and Social Security, healthcare was listed as the most important issue affecting America, according to a poll of 1,000 “general population respondents” conducted by the international market research firm YouGov in conjunction with The Economist. Nine percent of respondents chose healthcare as their primary concern, and when asked how important healthcare was in general, 61 percent said very important, 28 percent said somewhat important, 6 percent said not very important, and just 5 percent said the issue was not important at all.

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The survey spanned a range of topics — from how the Obama administration handled the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, to the strength of Barack Obama as a leader, to who should be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016… (Read more.)

3. Is General Motors the Great American Bailout Success Story? General Motors is a feel-good story. Americans love comebacks, and General Motors definitely fits the bill. Another feel-good aspect of this story is that based on employee reviews at Glassdoor.com, General Motors is a company that truly tries to do the right thing for its customers. And according to employees, it never cuts corners. In all, employees see the company they work for as the good guys. And an impressive 77 percent of employees approve of CEO Daniel F. Akerson.

It’s widely believed that corporate America is evil. However, in this case, the good guys are winning. Below is a quick look at April sales improvements… (Read more.)

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