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US Equities Continue Downward Trend After Yesterday's Bounce

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Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

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European equities weakened significantly despite much stronger investor sentiment on the current economic situation and future expectations. The German ZEW survey of current conditions rose to 32.4 from last month's 29.4, and future expectations rose to 62.0 from 54.6. The expectations survey reading was the highest since 2004. The Italian FTSEMIB (INDEXBIT:FTSEMIB) was the worst performer, losing 1.63%, followed by the French CAC (INDEXEURO:PX1).

The Senate announced that it would hold a vote among all members on Thursday to confirm Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve. News reports indicated that Republican Mitch McConnell would not vote for her confirmation and Republican Rand Paul would attempt to block the vote.

US equities continued their downward trend for the most part after yesterday's oversold bounce. Telecom was the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) today, led by declines in Verizon (NYSE:VZ). The material sector was the strongest-performing sector even though precious metals and crude struggled. CF Industries (NYSE:CF) and Alcoa (NYSE:AA) were the stocks with the largest gains in the sector.

US Treasuries rallied throughout the day. The 10-year yield declined by four basis points to 2.84%. The Treasury auctioned $32 billion of 2-year notes at a high yield of 0.345% and received the largest dollar amount of total bids this year.

Channel Advisor reported this morning that Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) same-store sales had risen a "date shifted" 39% year-over-year for the period between November 28 and December 15. Additionally, eBay's (NASDAQ:EBAY) sales were up 20.9% year-over-year for the same period, according to the research firm's data.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

Tomorrow afternoon the FOMC will release its monetary policy decision at 2:00 p.m. EST. Chairman Ben Bernanke's press conference will follow at 2:30 p.m. Currently, investors think there is an even-money chance the Fed will choose to taper its asset purchases at the meeting due to stronger economic growth in the fourth quarter. The Fed will also release its updated Summary of Economic Projections for 2013 through 2016.

The US will release September to November housing starts and November building permits in the morning before the market opens.

The Reserve Bank of India will release its monetary policy decision overnight. Economists are expecting a small increase in the central bank's repurchase and reverse repo rate. Additionally, the IFO Institute will release its survey results for German investors' future expectations and the current situation. Lastly, the UK will release the rolling 3-month ILO unemployment rate.

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) will be the first major company to report its fourth-quarter earnings before the market opens. Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) is also scheduled to report in the pre-market. Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX), and General Mills (NYSE:GIS) are scheduled to report after the market closes.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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