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In the Face of a Crisis in Cyprus, Stocks Show Tenacity


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

Stocks rose on Friday to close out the week on a positive note as investors looked past the strife in Cyprus.

Cyprus is debating the terms of a bailout, and the country is in talks with the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commissioner. The ECB has indicated that Cyprus has until March 25 to finalize an agreement, or emergency funds will be withheld.
We saw two earnings reports this morning, with Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) and Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) beating expectations, following a very optimistic report from Nike (NYSE:NKE) yesterday. The solid numbers, particularly from Nike, reinforced investor confidence in consumer spending, which has been building following a recent stream of positive economic data.

In terms of market action, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was in positive territory, indicating that it may be breaking out of its long-standing downtrend, and driving outperformance in the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC). Commodities were also up, though the bulls were likely disappointed by relative weakness in financial and small caps.

One notable decliner today was smartphone maker BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), which fell sharply in what looks like a sell-the-news reaction to a massive run-up into the US launch of its new BlackBerry 10 devices. That stock could be a big mover on Monday should the company put out an official press regarding sales, or if analysts upgrade or downgrade the stock.

Monday's Financial Outlook

Looking forward to next week, there are no US economic data releases scheduled for Monday. However, there will be some companies reporting earnings. Notable names include Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL) and Dollar General (NYSE:DG) before the open, and Focus Media (NASDAQ:FMCN) and Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) after the close.

Otherwise, the action may be affected by news out of Cyprus. This week, the market largely shrugged off the crisis that begin last weekend, but if the news gets appreciably worse, traders may get more skittish and look for the exits.

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