Stocks this week are off to a heavy start as investors await more speeches from nine U.S. Federal Reserve executives this week that could shed light on the timing of the quantitative easing (QE) taper. Three of those speeches are scheduled for today.
Comex gold prices are weighed this morning as the market hopes some of this week's comments from the Fed include insights into future monetary policy moves. Comex gold for December delivery is now trading at $1,324.76, down 0.37%.
In the week ahead in stock market news, the U.S. Congress and the Obama administration will continue to debate the U.S. budget and debt ceiling issues as investors will keep an eye on any new developments regarding Syria and U.S. action there.
Among the major stocks headlines in stock market news today, Apple stock (Nasdaq: AAPL) is easing off a 4% rally this morning after reporting it sold a record 9 million units of its new iPhone 5s and 5c after launching it Friday.
Apple reported more than 200 million iOS devices are now running the completely redesigned iOS 7, which makes that the fastest software upgrade in history, the company said in a statement. Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY), which is among the retailers selling iPhones, is up about 1%.
In other technology stock market news today, BlackBerry Ltd. (Nasdaq: BBRY) shares are not faring quite as well. Blackberry stock is down about 4% this morning, recovering from strong premarket losses of up to 7% after the smartphone maker forecast a wider-than-expected quarterly loss late Friday.
The struggling company announced it would cut its workforce by 40% to focus more on its core corporate market and high-end consumers and less on the average consumer.
Financial Stock News Today: Citigroup Struggles
In financial stock market news this morning, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) shares are down 3% after the bank said over the weekend that its trading revenue fell sharply after a slowdown during the summer, the Financial Times reports.
And BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT) shares are down about 2% this morning after a federal judge ruled the company cannot recover at least $688 million in taxes and penalties, Bloomberg reported over the weekend. The judge ruled the series of transactions that were aimed at generating tax credit lacked economic substance.
Healthcare Stock News: This Stock Surges on Positive Phase 2 Study Results
In healthcare stock news today, ISIS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS) is soaring about 6% after it said data from a phase 2 study of ISIS-APOCIIIRx as a monotherapy in patients with familial chylomicronemia syndrome, or FCS, reduced triglyceride levels.
FCS is a rare orphan disease characterized by severely high triglyceride levels that affects an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 patients worldwide.
In this study, three patients with FCS treated with ISIS-APOCIIIRx achieved substantial reductions in triglycerides. Patients also achieved substantial reductions in apoC-III and apoCIII-associated very-low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol particles.
Consumer Stock News: Potbelly Plans $82 Million IPO
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) shares are up about 1% after it signed three contracts for $2.7 billion with SPE, an affiliate of Sonelgaz-Algeria's national electricity and gas company.
GE is to supply proven and reliable heavy-duty gas turbine combined-cycle and aeroderivative gas turbine technology for nine power plants. The addition of nearly nine gigawatts of electricity will help strengthen Algeria's power sector to help meet the growing requirements of the country.
In other consumer stock market news today, Potbelly will likely price its initial public offering (IPO) at between $9 and $11 per share and will sell about 7.5 million shares, meaning it could raise upward of $82 million. The company plans to trade under the ticker "PBPB."
Finally, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) will buy back 120 million shares of its Series A Preferred Stock from the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust for about $3.2 billion, or $27 per share. GM will take a Q3 charge of about $0.8 billion as a result of the transaction, which will be treated as a special item.
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