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

The U.S. equity markets floundered in no-man’s land in afternoon trading on Monday. Investors seem content to take a breather before earnings season officially kicks off this evening with Alcoa (NYSE:AA). At 12:30 p.m.:

DJIA: -0.39% to 14,509.10 S&P 500: -0.12% to 1,551.49 NASDAQ: -0.18% to 3,198.04
Gold: -$4.10 to $1,571.80 WTI Crude: +0.07% to $92.77 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: +0.002 points to 1.715%

1) Does Poor Jobs Data Mean More Stimulus Spending? Speaking at the Economic Club of New York on March 25, William Dudley, president and CEO of the New York Federal Reserve, provided a blunt — and seemingly prescient — assessment of labor market conditions.

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“So how are we doing relative to our objective of a substantial improvement in the labor market outlook?” Dudley asked rhetorically in his speech, referring to the Fed’s decision to publicly tie monetary strategy to the unemployment rate… (Read more.)

2) “While the election in Italy led to the first setback for the euro zone index in March, the Cyprus issue is an additional strain in April: both sub-indices, the assessment of the economic situation and the 6-month expectations drop again to a similar degree,” reads a report on investor sentiment by Sentex. “Expectations are now in the neutral zone.”

The index dropped to its lowest level since November over concerns about the economic stability of the European Union… (Read more.)

3) After a steep climb to the top of the hill, major U.S. stock indexes, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, have recently reached record highs. Will the climb continue or is the stock market at the top of the roller coaster and about to take a historic plunge?

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More and more signs point to a plunge for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and major indexes rather than a continued climb. Excessively bullish sentiment and deteriorating economic fundamentals have helped paint a picture that suggests the U.S. markets are at the top of the roller coaster… (Read more.)

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