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S&P 500 Drops to Lowest Level So Far This Year


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

Indonesian stocks experienced a 3.19% rally today, thanks to the government announcing that it was banning all exports of nickel and bauxite, and raising the tax on copper exports over time to 60%. Nickel production accounts for more than one-third of the country's output. The move by Indonesia is an attempt to transform the country into more of manufacturer insteads of a raw-materials producer.

The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) broke through its 2014 lows this afternoon at 1,823. The benchmark index declined by 1.26% in today's session, recording its worst single day of trading for the year and the worst since June 2013. All 10 of the basic sectors in the S&P 500 were in the negative, and volume in declining stocks accounted for 81% of total volume. The energy sector was the worst performer today, led by notable declines in solar stocks.

Spirits producer Beam (NYSE:BEAM) was acquired by Japanese food and beverage company Suntory Holdings for $83.50 per share in cash. The purchase amounts to $16 billion, including the assumption of debt in the buyout. Also, activist hedge fund Elliott Management announced a 6.2% stake in Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR). Last week Elliott offered to buy another tech company, Riverbed (NASDAQ:RVBD), for $19 per share.

Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) lowered its EPS and revenue guidance for its fiscal fourth quarter citing slowing sales trends and a meaningful decrease in traffic since the beginning of January. The reduction in guidance suggests only 7.4% year-over-year growth in revenues and -2.3% for earnings. These are down from 12% and 6.75%, respectively. Lululemon stock traded down 16.74% today.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

Tomorrow morning the US will release December 2013 retail sales data. This report is significant due to the large number of retail-based companies that have reported alarmingly negative sales growth in December. However, significant growth in Internet sales may be able to make up the difference. Economists estimate that sales will only rise 0.1% from the prior month after gaining 0.7% in November. Also on the schedule is November business inventories and December import/export prices.

The UK will be release its December producer and consumer price indexes tomorrow morning and the eurozone will release November industrial production data.

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) will be the first financial company to report earnings tomorrow, in addition to Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). Both are scheduled to report in the pre-market.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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