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The Markets Now: Bernanke Expresses Concerns About Shadow Banking System

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Plus, analysts raise Priceline.com's target price.

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Stocks have moved only slightly today as no important economic data was released. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) decreased 0.29% to 15,038.43. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) dropped 0.17% to 1,623.86, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose 0.20% to 3,415.98.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke this morning at the Chicago Fed Banking Conference. Bernanke stated that he still views the shadow banking system as a threat to financial systems. He also said that bank-funding markets may be unable to withstand a major default.

The US Treasury will report today on its budget for April at 2 p.m. EDT. In March, the Treasury ran a deficit of $106.5 billion.

Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN) climbed 3.74% to $765.06. The online travel agency reported first-quarter earnings of $244 million, or $4.76 per share, a 34% increase from $182 million, or $3.54 per share, in the prior-year quarter. Excluding one-time items, the online travel agency earned $5.76 per share. Revenue increased to $1.3 billion from $1.04 billion in the prior-year quarter. Credit Suisse raised its price target for Priceline.com from $886 to $924; Piper Jaffray raised its price target for Priceline from $800 to $850. (See also: How to Play Priceline.com: Has the Stock Gone Up Too Much, Too Fast?)

NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) increased 3.95% to $14.46. The maker of graphic processors reported a first-quarter net income of $77.9 million, or $0.13 per share, compared to $60.4 million, or $0.10 per share, in the prior-year quarter. Sales increased 3.2% year-over-year to $954.7 million.

The Gap (NYSE:GPS) jumped 4.94% to $40.73. Yesterday the operator of apparel retail stores reported first-quarter net sales of $3.73 billion compared to $3.49 billion in the prior-year quarter. Net sales for the four-week period ended May 4 increased to $1.21 billion from $1.15 billion for the four-week period ended April 28 last year.

Molycorp (NYSE:MCP) spiked 22.02% to $6.82. Yesterday the company, which produces and sells rare earth and rare metal materials, reported a first-quarter loss of $50.1 million, or $0.33 per share, compared to a $6.3 million loss, or $0.07 per share, in the prior-year quarter. Revenue increased to $146.4 million, compared to $84.5 million in the prior-year quarter.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 1.13% to $451.63.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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