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Stock Market Today, July 15, 2014: U.S. markets slacked on Tuesday after statements by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in front of the Senate Banking Committee indicated that some sectors might be overvalued. Biotech and social media shares slumped in the afternoon. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index ETF (Nasdaq: IBB) slumped by more than 2.5% after Yellen's testimony.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
Dow: 17,060.68, +5.26 (+0.03%)
Nasdaq: 4,416.39, -24.03 (-0.54%)
S&P 500: 1,973.28, -3.82 (-0.19%)
And here are the top stories from the stock market today:
- All Eyes on Yellen: In her semiannual report on monetary policy to Congress, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said, "The economic outlook is very uncertain." Yellen downplayed concerns about inflation in the U.S. economy, arguing that recent wage increases can offset rapidly increasing prices. However, stocks retreated quickly after her statement.
- Hacker Hunters: Online hackers and other threats to the Internet are on watch. This morning, Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) announced it has established a new team called "Project Zero" to hunt down hackers and other cyber-threats. The company said its goal is to focus on preventing "criminal or state-sponsored" actors from exploiting vulnerabilities on the web. The announcement puts the company on the offensive to increasing vulnerabilities like the "Heartbleed Bug," which targeted private information and passwords earlier this year.
- Stepping Down: The Interim Chairman of Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Ralph Whitworth, announced he plans to resign from the company's board of directors on July 16 to focus on his health. Whitworth, 58, was a board member since 2011, and was named interim chairman in April 2013. During his tenure, the company hired Meg Whitman, whose turnaround of the company has not gone as successfully as the board has hoped. The company has already begun to cut 34,000 jobs internationally.
- Biotech Bounce Back: Although many pharmaceutical companies were down on the day, one bright spot was La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co. (NASDAQ: LJPC). Shares surged more than 9% on news that it released positive pre-clinical data for LJPC-1010, which addresses liver fibrosis.
- Say Cheese: Shares of camera manufacturer GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO) popped 13% after JMP Securities initiated coverage on the company and issued a rating of "Market Outperform." JMP says it expects the company to continue to grow rapidly. Shares have done well since the company's recent IPO in late June - but here's why investors have reason to worry about its long-term performance...
- Power Play: Shares of Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq: PLUG) surged more than 17% on news that FBR & Co. had issued a "Buy" rating on the fuel-cell company. FBR cited multiple growth opportunities for the company, including expansion into European markets, its new hydrogen delivery systems, and rising U.S. orders. Go here for more on PLUG.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.