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Stock market news, March 14, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 231.19% on Thursday to close at 16,108.89. The Nasdaq slipped 1.46% to finish at 4,260.42. The S&P 500 dropped 1.17% to end the day at 1,846.35.
Here's the top news affecting the markets today…
Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, March 14, 2014
- Gold Rush: Gold prices hit a six-month high as investors grow wearier over the Ukraine situation and economic problems in China. Through the last four days of trading, the metal has surged more than 2% to close at $1,372.40, as investors are turning to safety and away from equities. Gold prices are up more than 14% since Jan. 1.
- Here Come the Chinese Defaults: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced on Thursday that the nation's private sector is poised for a wave of industrial bankruptcies as sky-high debts and a slowing economy hit. Keqiang, who is earning a reputation for his candor, said China faces "serious challenges" in the future and that lenders should expect debt defaults for companies carrying huge debt loads.
- It's Getting Serious: On Sunday, citizens of the Crimea region of Ukraine will vote in a referendum on whether they will secede and join Russia. Such a vote would likely lead to the U.S and the European Union driving sanctions against Russia. However, consensus suggests that the event has already been priced into the market.
- Just Do It, Already: Gen. James Jones, a former security adviser to President Obama, suggested that the U.S. should build the Keystone Pipeline. Jones suggested that building the pipeline would send Russian President Vladimir Putin a message that "international bullies" won't be able to use energy sources as a geopolitical chess piece. The pipeline has been delayed by Washington politics as environmentalists and unions square off on the cost-benefits of the project. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday that he is approaching the pipeline's construction with an open mind, but he is awaiting "feedback" from eight – count them, eight – Federal agencies.
- You Don't Say: In a footnote last weekend, the Obama administration delayed the Individual Mandate of Obamacare. The Wall Street Journal reports that the "core of the Affordable Care Act" was originally set to be put off after this year's midterm elections, but now it will be delayed until President Barack Obama is out of office. But don't worry, America…this law is good for you…or something.
Note: The Fed's 2014 taper means volatility ahead. So we've outlined how to find profits in a volatile market – like triple-digit gains in just days – if you start with this strategy…
U.S. Economic Calendar March 14, 2014 (all times EST)
- PPI-FD at 8:30 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 9:55 a.m.
- Federal Reserve vice chair nominee Stanley Fischer speaks at 9:45 p.m.
Key Companies Reporting Earnings March 14, 2014
- Consensus earnings per share for Buckle, Inc. (NYSE: BKE) is $1.21.
- Consensus earnings per share for ANN INC. (NYSE: ANN) is $0.07.
- Consensus earnings per share for Hibbett Sports, Inc. (Nasdaq: HIBB) is $0.69.
- Consensus earnings per share for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: CTB) is $0.21.
- Consensus earnings per share for Brown Shoe Co., Inc. (NYSE: BWS) is $0.08.
- Consensus earnings per share for Ebix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EBIX) is $0.31.
Others Reporting Earnings:
- StoneMor Partners L.P. (STON), Quicksilver Resources Inc. (KWK), Destination XL Group, Inc. (DXLG), Fuel Systems Solutions, Inc. (FSYS), Citi Trends, Inc. (CTRN), Derma Sciences, Inc. (DSCI)