US midday: Monetary policy must remain very accomodative, Fed says



LONDON (ShareCast) - - Eurogroup head sees Cyprus deal as template for future actions
- Speculation of Italian debt downgrade
- IMF may cut US GDP forecast for 2013
- Euro slides despite Cyprus deal
- S and P 500 reaches intra-day high of 1,565
- Fed: Dudley sees need to maintain QE

Dow Jones Industrials: -0.32%
Nasdaq Composite: -0.18%
S&P 500: -0.19%

The major US equity benchmarks are now registering slight falls, and off their worst levels of the day, after an initial fall which was apparently triggered by remarks from Jeroen Dijsselbloem - the head of the Eurogroup - to The Financial Times and Reuters to the effect that the rescue of Cyprus may serve as a template for future such actions.

Adding to investors' worries, daily Corriere della Sera ran a story regarding traders' fears of an impending sovereign debt downgrade of Italy by Moody's.

That came on the back of cautious remarks from some observers regarding the likely effectiveness of the island nation's rescue which were weighing on sentiment.

Acting as a backdrop, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York - William Dudley - remarked that: "The FOMC is committed to the dual objectives of maximum sustainable employment in the context of price stability. Currently we are falling well short of our employment objective and the restrictive stance of federal fiscal policy is a factor. (...) As a consequence, we need to keep monetary policy very accommodative.

"I do not claim that there are no costs or risks associated with our unconventional monetary policy regime."

Blackberry hit by analysts' comments

Blackberry, the manufacturer of the iconic Smart-phone for business executives, is recovering after falling sharply after negative comments from analysts. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB - news) , the broker, has downgraded the company's shares to neutral.

In an interview with the Financial Times (FT) the firm's Chief Executive, Thorsten Heins, said the numbers on the launch of its new Z10 cell phone are 'looking good,' although he prefers to wait for more data before calling it a substantial success.

Heins also called attention to the company's $2.8bn cash pile and the flexibility to invest in marketing and innovation which this affords it.

Shares of for-profit college operator Apollo Group (NasdaqGS: APOL - news) and Dollar General are both gaining following the release of their latest results.

PC maker Dell (NasdaqGS: DELL - news) received two alternative takeover proposals. The first comes from activist investor Carl Icahn and the other from a private-equity fund managed by Blackstone Group LP. These came on top of another made by founder Michael Dell a month ago.

From a sector stand-point the best performance was to be seen in the following industrial groups: Industrial suppliers (-2.23%), Specialised consumer services (-1.87%) and Business training (-1.56%).

Improvement in 'tone' of economic data

The Federal Reserve bank of Chicago's national activity index improved notoriously in February, reaching the 0.44 points level after marking -0.49 in the month before. The three month moving average, however, slid to 0.09 from 0.28 in the previous month.

The Federal Reserve bank of Dallas's manufacturing sector gauge for the month of march has risen to 7.4 from 2.2 in the February (Consensus: 3.2).

Large rise in crude futures

10 year US Treasury yields are down by 2 basis points to the 1.91% mark.

Front month West crude futures are now gaining by 0.76% to the 94.42 dollar per barrel level on the NYMEX.

S&P 500 - Risers
Apollo Group Inc. (APOL) $18.45 +8.27%
McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. (MHP) $49.96 +3.29%
Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE: THC - news) . (THC) $46.76 +3.04%
Dell Inc. (DELL) $14.56 +2.97%
Visa Inc (NYSE: V - news) . (V) $163.44 +2.09%
Washington Post Co. (WPO) $450.50 +1.84%
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE: CLF - news) . (CLF) $21.12 +1.73%
Best Buy Co. Inc (NYSE: BBY - news) . (BBY) $23.17 +1.71%
Dollar General Corp (DG) $50.88 +1.62%
Amerisource Bergen Corp. (ABC (Taiwan OTC: 1780.TWO - news) ) $50.63 +1.62%

S&P 500 - Fallers
Red Hat Inc (NYSE: RHT - news) . (RHT) $48.42 -4.69%
First Solar Inc (Xetra: A0LEKM - news) . (FSLR) $27.83 -3.54%
eBay Inc. (EBAY (NasdaqGS: EBAY - news) ) $51.39 -3.53%
Textron Inc (NYSE: TXT - news) . (TXT (Taiwan OTC: 4969.TWO - news) ) $29.73 -3.32%
PerkinElmer Inc (NYSE: PKI - news) . (PKI) $33.04 -2.88%
Expeditors International Of Washington Inc (NasdaqGS: EXPD - news) . (EXPD) $35.56 -2.68%
W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW) $219.03 -2.51%
Autodesk Inc (NasdaqGS: ADSK - news) . (ADSK) $40.36 -2.49%
Micron Technology Inc (NasdaqGS: MU - news) . (MU) $9.82 -2.19%
Fastenal Co. (FAST) $50.40 -2.15%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $54.89 +0.79%
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) $74.67 +0.53%
Cisco Systems Inc (HKSE: 4333.HK - news) . (CSCO) $20.85 +0.51%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $49.13 +0.22%
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) $23.09 +0.22%
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - news) (JNJ) $79.78 +0.05%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT - news) . (CAT (Taiwan OTC: 4990.TWO - news) ) $86.29 -1.36%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $56.03 -1.32%
3M Co. (MMM) $105.05 -1.29%
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) $12.40 -1.27%
United Technologies Corp (NYSE: UTX - news) . (UTX) $92.64 -1.01%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $119.99 -0.98%
Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE - news) . (PFE) $28.11 -0.95%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $21.14 -0.91%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $98.37 -0.91%
Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE: PG - news) . (PG) $76.62 -0.84%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers
Dell Inc. (DELL) $14.56 +2.97%
Vodafone Group Plc ADS (VOD) $28.44 +1.46%
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $54.22 +0.89%
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) $41.53 +0.75%
Wynn Resorts Ltd (NasdaqGS: WYNN - news) . (WYNN) $122.96 +0.72%
Yahoo (NasdaqGS: YHOO - news) ! Inc. (YHOO) $23.40 +0.60%
F5 Networks Inc (NasdaqGS: FFIV - news) . (FFIV) $87.53 +0.60%
Apple Inc (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) . (AAPL) $464.41 +0.54%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $20.85 +0.51%
DIRECTV (NasdaqGS: DTV - news) (DTV) $55.64 +0.49%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd (NasdaqGS: CHKP - news) . (CHKP) $46.64 -4.60%
eBay Inc. (EBAY) $51.39 -3.53%
Expeditors International Of Washington Inc. (EXPD) $35.56 -2.68%
Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) $40.36 -2.49%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $9.82 -2.19%
Fastenal Co. (FAST) $50.40 -2.15%
Whole Foods Market Inc (NasdaqGS: WFM - news) . (WFM) $85.90 -2.14%
Oracle Corp. (ORCL) $31.33 -2.02%
Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) $51.07 -1.88%
Mylan Inc (NasdaqGS: MYL - news) . (MYL) $29.27 -1.84%