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

U.S. stocks faced broad selling pressure on Wednesday afternoon. Investors seemed eager to step back at take profits in the wake of a series of disappointing earnings results. Notably, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) was off about 5.8 percent in mid-day trading after reporting an earnings miss. At 12:50 p.m.:

DJIA: -1.20% to 14,579.60 S&P 500: -1.90% to 1,544.68 NASDAQ: -2.24% to 3,191.37
Gold: -0.35% to $1,382.60 per ounce Oil: -2.64% to $86.38 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: -0.045 points to 1.678%
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Here are three stories moving markets on Wednesday afternoon:

1) How Bleak is the U.K.’s Economic Future? The International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast for 2013 economic growth in the United Kingdom on Tuesday and said Prime Minister David Camerons government should consider easing austerity measures because of the countrys weakening economic recovery.

Signs that the U.K. is struggling to stay on the road to recovery are evident in force. Data released by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday showed that the number of Britons out of work rose by 70,000 in the three months through February, representing the largest increase in unemployment since late 2011. In total, 2.56 million people are out of work, and the latest increase pushed the unemployment rate to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent, the highest level since the May to June period of 2012…

2) Heres More Good News for the Housing Market: The housing recovery is heavily dependent on low interest rates induced by the Federal Reserve, but mortgage applications continue to slowly grind higher.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Associations latest report for the week ending April 12, loan application volume gained 4.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. This comes after a 4.5 percent increase. These figures include both refinancing and home purchase demand, and covers over 75 percent of all domestic retail residential mortgage applications… (Read more.)

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3) Could the U.S. Reach Energy Independence By 2035? U.S. commercial crude oil inventories declined by 1.2 million barrels during the week ended April 12, according to the Energy Information Association. At 387.6 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Refineries operated at 86.3 percent capacity, with gasoline production kicking up to 8.9 million barrels per day as the U.S. enters driving season.

The EIA also reported on Wednesday about various projections for net U.S. imports of petroleum and other liquids as a share of product supplied. This metric can be used as a proxy for demand, and has been a highly-watched indicator as the global energy market evolves at an increasingly rapid rate… (Read more.)

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