Stocks Struggle In Late Trading as Fed Offers Bleak Forecast. Stocks to Watch: F, MU, NVDA, MS, BAC, V, WMT
Stocks are whipsawing in late day trading as they struggle to get into positive territory. Each of the major indicies are well off their lows earlier today with the Dow losing only 45 points. The Nasdaq is positive slightly and the S&P is down about 4 points with an hour left in the trading day.
Lots of news happening across the markets today with the U.S. GDP being revised and the continued uncertainty in the euro zone. The big news late in the day though was the Fed meeting in which they discuss how to handle the economy. The Fed met earlier this month and one of the things they discussed was how they could let businesses and investors know more about what might trigger increases interest rates. The Fed didn’t make any changes though. Following this meeting, the Fed has an even more dour outlook for the U.S. economy. It predicted that the economy will grow much more slowly and face steeper unemployment than it estimated back in June. Many economists think the Fed should announce a plan to buy back mortgage-backed securities following its Dec. 13 meeting, while others believe the a third round of treasury bond purchases should be done, aka QE3. Bernanke said the economic growth is “frustratingly slow” and the central bank remains “prepared to take action as appropriate to make sure the recovery continues.”
Earlier today, the Commerce Department announced it has revised the third quarter GDP from 2.5% down to 2%. This is the department’s second ‘estimate.’ Many analysts expected 2.5% so this did come as a bit of a surprise to some. The GDP was higher though in the third quarter than the second quarter when it was 1.3%.
Europe continues to be a major problem and fuels uncertainty in the markets. European banks are relying even more on the ECB as central bank funding jumped to a two-year high today. U.S. funds cut back on their lending to these banks as well tightening the lending markets in Europe even more. 178 banks have requested 247 billion euros from the ECB this week. The uncertainty will continue to persist in the markets as long as investors think that the crisis will spread.
Stocks to watch going into the close: Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) iis down slightly at $10.05 in late day trading. F has traded 34.29 million shares so far today, about 50% its usually daily volume. Ford has been trending downward for more than a week now and has fallen from over $11.50 to around $10 in that time period. The company has a current market cap of 38.32 billion.
Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is up 0.66% today at $6.13. MU has traded 29.6 million shares so far today, about 10 million shares short of its daily average. MU dropped back down the past few days after popping on Nov. 16 from $5.50 to nearly $7. The company has a current market cap of 6.09 billion.
NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) is up 2.46% at $14.99 today. NVDA has traded 25.3 million shares so far today, 5 million more shares than its daily average. NVDA is up nearly $2 so far this week. The company has a current market cap of 9.08 billion.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is down 0.48% today at $13.54. MS has traded 22.7 million shares so far today, way below its daily average of 33.9 million shares. MS has been trading lower most of the month and has fallen more than $5 since the end of October. The company has a current market cap of 26.09 billion.
Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) is down 2.64% at $5.35. BAC has traded 233 million shares so far today, about 60 million shares short of its daily average. BAC has been trading lower all month and was trading above $6.50 at the first of them month.The company has a current market cap of 54.31 billion.
Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is down 0.36% at $90.88 in late day trading. V has traded 2.7 million shares so far today, about half its daily average volume. Visa has been trading lower for the past week now and has fallen from $94 to $90. The company has a current market cap of 62.5 billion.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is up slightly in the last hour of trading. WMT is up 0.16% at $56.75. WMT has traded 5.2 million shares so far today, well below its daily average of 12.4 million shares. The company has a current market cap of 195.4 billion.