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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat on Friday as the market looks ahead to a critical succession vote by Pro-Russian loyalists in the Ukraine. Unimpressive jobs data also played a factor in the markets' performance.
Here are the closing numbers:
DOW: 16,583.34, +0.2%
S&P 500: 1,878.47, +0.15%
NASDAQ: 4,071.87, +0.5%
Now here are the top stories from today's trading session:
- An Overvalued Buy: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) slid more than 1% on rumors that the company would purchase Beats Electronics, a headphone and music streaming service, for $3.2 billion. Concerns have been raised about the valuation of the deal, given that eight months ago, Carlyle Group invested in Beats on a valuation of $1 billion. The deal is expected to make recording artist and company founder Dr. Dre a billionaire.
- Further Weakness in the Job Market: Yesterday's comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the "considerable slack" in the labor market foreshadowed today's economic calendar. Friday's JOLTS report showed a decline in available job positions across the country (we're down more than 100,000 openings in three months), suggesting a fundamental weakness in the U.S. economy.
- Banks Behaving Badly: Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) dipped lower on Friday after the bank announced that its quarterly reports drew government inquiries into high-frequency trading activities and concerns that its foreign hiring practices violated U.S. anti-bribery laws.
- End to Bond Buying: The President of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank announced his support to end the central bank's bond-purchasing program in October. Richard Fisher said the bank should continue to reduce the pace of QE3 at $10 billion per FOMC meeting, until it reaches a final balance of $15 billion in October. At that point, Fisher would advocate that the central bank