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U.S. Stocks Retreat After Fed Minutes; Hot Stocks: AAPL, GM, CVI, TAP, CONN

 April 03, 2012 05:34 PM

U.S. stocks retreated and ended on a lower note after the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting indicated Fed saw no need for a third round of stimulus to boost the economy.

S&P 500 Index lost 0.40 percent to finish at 1,413.31. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.49 percent to end at 13,199.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 3,113.57, down 0.20 percent.

"A couple of members indicated that the initiation of additional stimulus could become necessary if the economy lost momentum or if inflation seemed likely to remain below its mandate consistent rate of 2 percent over the medium run," according to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

On the economic data front, factory orders rebounded in February, a report from the Commerce Department showed. New orders for manufactured goods gained 1.3 percent in February following a 1.1 percent decline in January. Economists expected a 1.5 percent advance in orders.

[Related -Google Inc (GOOG): Why Nest Labs Deal Is A Wakeup Call For Apple Inc.?]

Hot Stocks Of The Day: (AAPL, GM, CVI, TAP, CONN)

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) advanced 1.73 percent to end at $629.32. Analysts at Piper Jaffray and Topeka Capital Markets have predicted that shares of the technology giant will hit the $1,000 mark within the next two years.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) dropped 4.56 percent to close at $25.54 after its March vehicle sales growth of 12 percent trailed expectations of a 21 percent rise.

[Related -Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Why Gross Margins Will Expand In 2014 and Beyond?]

Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE: TAP) fell 5.43 percent to finish at $43.18 after the company agreed to acquire Amsterdam-based StarBev for around $3.54 billion from CVC Capital Partners to expand its European presence.
CVR Energy Inc. (NYSE: CVI) advanced 5.88 percent to close at $28.80. Activist investor Carl Icahn said around 55 percent of the petroleum refiner's outstanding shares were tendered to his $2.3 billion offer. Icahn holds 14.5 percent of CVI.

CONN's Inc. (Nasdaq: CONN) soared 15.52 percent to end at $19.05 after the retailer of home appliances and consumer electronics products raised its earnings view for the full year following better-than-expected quarterly results on improved profitability in both its credit and retail segments.

Global Markets:

The European markets finished sharply lower, with Germany's DAX losing 1.05 percent to end at 6,982.28. France's CAC40 retreated 1.62 percent to finish at 3,406.78. Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.62 percent to close at 5,838.34.
Asia markets closed on a mixed note. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rallied 1.31 percent to close at 20,790.98. Japan's Nikkei 225 retreated 0.59 percent to end at 10,050.39. India's BSE Sensex finished at 17,597.42, up 0.68 percent. The Chinese market was closed for a three-day public holiday.

Market Scan:

Crude oil futures declined 1.03 percent to $104.15 per barrel, while natural gas price rose 0.98 percent to $2.173 per million metric British thermal units. Gold retreated 2.02 percent to $1,645.80 per ounce, and silver dropped 1.57 percent to $32.58 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro fell 0.67 percent against the U.S. dollar to $1.3231. The British pound lost 0.69 percent against the greenback to 1.5914, while the dollar traded 0.91 percent higher against the Japanese yen to 82.8200.



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