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Dow Jones Fails to Break 14,000 as Defence Cuts Hit US Growth

A correction of sorts has brought the FTSE back below 6300, down 30 at 6292.

Heavyweight stocks are weighing today, as a busy day for corporate results has leaned in favour of the bears.

AstraZeneca‘s 2013 outlook is a weak one, as patent expiries sent them plunging 6%.

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Meanwhile, Shell (-1.3%) missed expectations for recent performance but tempered the disappointment with a bullish long-term outlook and a dividend increase.

These two stocks alone are responsible for much of today’s poor performance, though the banks are contributing.

Financials are weakening as the FSA pulls more alleged skeletons out of the sector’s closet, accusing banks of mis-selling interest rate swaps to small businesses.

We have known that litigation is going to be one of the biggest caveats on UK bank earnings for some time now, so should we really be surprised?

US markets are entering an interesting couple of days. With the Dow Jones making a grab for 14,000 and not quite making it, the ‘de-militarising’ GDP miss diverted attention away from a positive ADP private payrolls number, which bodes well for tomorrow’s Non-Farms report.

The GDP figure gave us a little insight into what the implications of going over the fiscal cliff would have been, and still might be, as massive defence cuts were a pivotal part of the terms.

The Fed reaffirmed its easing policy without making any hasty changes, and the bears will not be getting too excited about this correction snowballing into something more substantial.

As such, we are currently calling for the Dow to open just 10 points lower at 13,900.

 

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Financial Market Comments from Will Hedden, Sales Trader, IG Index.

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