Biggest OTC % Gainers/OTC % Losers /Top OTC Volume Movers 12/17 close:
After-hours buzz: Avon, Oracle, Jabil, Hertz & more
Avon Products – The maker of beauty supplies agreed to pay $135 million to settle civil and criminal charges related to a bribery scheme involving its China unit.
GT Advanced Technologies – The company, which sought bankruptcy protection in October, said it believes it has settled a dispute with Apple. Its shares fell in after-hours trading.
Herman Miller – The maker of office furniture dropped in extended-hours trading after offering a downbeat outlook.
AK Steel – Shares soared after the company said it expects shipments to rise some 37 percent, quarter-over-quarter, citing recent acquisitions and strong auto demand. The stock was last up a more than 6 percent in extended-hours trading.
Jabil Circuit – The Apple supplier said it expects current-quarter revenue to come in above Wall Street estimates, boosted by impressive sales of Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 plus. The mobile casings maker also forecast for its sales to increase 53 percent during the second quarter, which ends Feb. 28. The stock jumped as much as 6 percent before cooling in after-hours trading.
Hertz – Shares rose nearly 4 percent after Carl Icahn disclosed that he purchased 2.63 million more shares of the holding company, upping his stake from 10.77 percent to 11.34 percent.
Oracle – The technology provider delivered quarterly earnings and revenue results that topped Street projections—halting a three-quarter losing streak. The stock was last up more than 4 percent in extended trading.
Herbalife – The stock edged lower after one of the company’s top salesman said that most people who sell the company’s weight loss and nutrition products are doomed to fail, according to Reuters.
Zoetis – The animal-health company raised its quarterly dividend by 15 percent.
U.S. stocks move off highs as Fed chairwoman speaks
“Considerable time” language replaced with “can be patient”
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks shot up in a knee-jerk reaction after the Federal Reserve statement, which replaced the ‘considerable time’ with ‘can be patient’ wording.
But as the Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen began her press conference, indexes came off session highs, but looked on track to end the day with solid gains. Yellen appeared upbeat about the state of the U.S. economy but noted that there was room for improvement.
She noted that inflation is running below the Fed’s 2% target inflation rate but expects to see normalization. She also suggested that the recent slump in oil may be fleeting, referring to crude oil price moves as possibly “transitory.”
The Federal Reserve included language in its policy statement that indicated that central bank is prepared to hike interest rates as early as the middle of next year, but will be “patient” as it forges a path toward monetary tightening.
The Fed dropped the “considerable time” language in its statement and replaced it with new language that the U.S. central bank “can be patient in beginning” to tighten monetary policy.
The S&P 500 SPX, +2.04% moved higher. The energy sector jumped by nearly 3%, as oil prices reversed earlier losses. All 10 main sectors were trading higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.69% had jumped 300 points, shortly after the statement, though pared back during Yellen’s comments.
Chevron Corp. CVX, +4.25% and Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, +3.02% were leading the gains. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +2.12% also rose sharply, let by big gains in the technology names.
Jeffrey MacDonald, senior portfolio manager at Fiduciary Trust, said the markets were focused on ‘considerable time’ language and the Fed was able stay on message without keeping it.
“The replacement language conveys the same message – that the Fed is data dependent and will continue to monitor the U.S. economy,” MacDonald said.
“It means the Fed will err on the side of being slow at raising rates, which is usually good for risky assets, such as stocks,” he added. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-markets-stock-futures-higher-with-eyes-on-inflation-fed-2014-12-17?link=MW_latest_news
Stocks rally with energy sector; Dow up 150 points
U.S. stocks climbed on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 bouncing back from a three-session drop, as investors bet that the Federal Reserve would continue to support the U.S. economy while readying for an interest-rate hike.
Energy producers led Wall Street gains, and the price of oil turned higher.
“West Texas has stabilized a bit here. Maybe that’s enough to stop the precipitous decline in oil shares, as that sector was completely washed out,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.
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Consumer prices post biggest drop in six years
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The sharp slide in gasoline prices gave another boost to U.S. households in November, as consumer prices fell by the biggest amount in six years and inflation-adjusted take-home pay rose just as the holiday season kicked into high gear.
The consumer price index fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.3% last month to mark the largest drop since December 2008.
Energy costs fell for the fifth straight month, the Labor Department said Wednesday, led by a 6.6% decline in the price of gasoline. Global oil prices have been in a freefall since the end of summer, lowering the cost of gas to less than $2 a gallon in some parts of the country from as high as $3.70 in mid-June.
The cost of food, another major household expense, rose a mild 0.2% in November. Beef shot up 0.8% and rose for the 10th straight month.
Stripping out volatile food and energy costs, so-called core inflation edged up 0.1% last month. Core prices are viewed as a better gauge of long-term trends in consumer inflation.
The pace of inflation over the past 12 months fell to 1.3% in November and is down sharply from 2.1% just five months ago. The growth in the core rate of inflation edged down to 1.7% last month.
Easing consumer prices triggered by the slump in oil continues to improve the financial well-being of Americans, at least temporarily. Average hourly pay adjusted for inflation shot up 0.6% in November.
Real hourly wages are up just 0.8% in the past 12 months, however, so Americans will have to see further gains to encourage them to spend more and boost the overall economy.
Lax inflation also reduces pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise a key short-term interest rate, now at zero, for the first time since 2006. The central bank on Wednesday will offer further clues on when it plans to raise rates after top policymakers conclude their latest strategy session.
Yet despite sharply lower energy prices, consumers still face rising costs in other key areas.
The cost of rent and housing rose 0.3% in November, for example, and it’s up 3% over the past 12 months. Shelter is the single biggest consumer expense.
Medical costs also increased 0.4% — the biggest gain in 15 months — and they are up 2.5% in the past year. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/consumer-prices-post-biggest-drop-in-six-years-2014-12-17
U.S. stock futures move higher as Fed meeting, inflation come into focus
MADRID (MarketWatch) — U.S. stock futures were rising on Wednesday, as markets appeared to be banking on a less-hawkish Federal Open Market Committee statement, but Russia and oil prices continue to provide an undercurrent of unease.
Many investors remained wary after the turbulence that swept through global markets on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, The Russian ruble was seesawing amid reports that the central bank was selling its foreign currency reserves, and inventory data for oil due later in the session also looms large.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJH5, +0.34% rose 88 points, or 0.5%, to 17,099, while those for the S&P 500 index SPH5, +0.56% added 13 points, or 0.7%, to 1,978.40. Those for the Nasdaq-100 index NDH5, +0.78% gained 28.25 points, or 0.7%, to 4,111.54.
The Fed, inflation: Consumer prices for November will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect core prices, which strip out food and energy, to rise 0.2%, while the headline number is seen down 0.1%. Investors will be watching to see what kind of effect falling oil prices have had on the index.
As for the Federal Reserve, the policy decision is due at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, and a news conference with Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen follows at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. If the Fed plays down rate-hike possibilities next year, markets could push higher, said analysts.
Specifically, investors want to see if the Fed will strip the “considerable time” phrase from its statement, which would hint at a more hawkish stance. Investors also want to see if and how Yellen addresses the Russian crisis and plunging oil prices.
But given currency and oil-market turmoil, it’s unclear how much of a gain investors should expect and volatility should surprise no one, said Kelly. “We had a V-shaped recovery from the October lows. Given current conditions, it might be extreme to expect a similar bounce this time around,” she said. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-markets-stock-futures-higher-with-eyes-on-inflation-fed-2014-12-17?link=MW_latest_news