News Column

Daily Wrap: Stocks up as global tensions ease

August 11, 2014

By Jacob Barker, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Aug. 11--TODAY'S INDEXES -- Dow industrials 16,569.98 + 16.05

S&P 500 1,936.92 +5.33

Nasdaq 4,401.xx + 30.43

QUIET DAY ON WALL STREET: Traders remained update Monday following a Friday market rally that regained some recent losses driven by geopolitical concerns, especially fear that Russia may intervene militarily in Ukraine.

Each of the three major indexes posted modest gains Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose .1 percent, the S&P 500 .28 percent, and the Nasdaq .7 percent.

Global indexes notched larger gains, with the MSCI Emerging Markets index and All-Country World seeing their best days in months, according to Bloomberg. Treasuries, however, didn't move much, with the 10-year note's yield remaining at 2.44 percent.

Russia on Friday said it would end military drills near the Ukrainian border, prompting stock markets to retake some of the losses incurred last week. Monday, the U.S. continued airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Israel and Palestine were at the negotiating table.

RESUSCITATED: Stereotaxis, the St. Louis developer of computer programs used to treat heart conditions, saw shares jump 6.74 percent. The gain came the same day as its chairman and CEO bought another 10,000 shares of the company.

William Mills III purchased 10,000 shares for an average price of $2.75 a piece in the company he leads, bringing his total holdings in Stereotaxis to 219,711, or 1 percent.

The buy comes after some significant drops last week on the heels of poor quarterly earnings. Shares in the health care company settled at $2.93 when markets closed Monday.

LOW HOPES: Analysts are expecting less from two St. Louis area companies. Emerson Electric and Ameren Corp. were two of the biggest losers last week among downward revisions in target share prices.

Emerson Electric Co. and Ameren Corp. were among the 21 largest downward adjustments to average share price expectations over the next 12 months, according to Bloomberg data. Bloomberg said analysts lowered Emerson's target price 3.1 percent, to $71.40, and Ameren's target decreased 1.63 percent to $40.17.

LOCAL INDEX: The Bloomberg St. Louis Index was up .62 percent.


StereoTaxis 6.74% Reliv International -1.49%

FutureFuel Corp. 6.02% First Clover Leaf Financial -1.24%

American Railcar 3.39% Pulaski Financial -.52%

LOCAL GAINER: FutureFuel Corp., the biofuels and specialty chemicals company, rebounded Monday after a nearly 10 percent drop last week following its quarterly earnings.

The Clayton-based company saw shares rise 6.02 percent Monday. It wasn't immediately clear why. Shares dropped 15 percent after the company released quarterly earnings last week that showed profit had fallen significantly. The company is being hit hard by the Environmental Protection Agency's delay in releasing the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates the amount of biofuels that must be blended with the nation's motor fuels.

Shares closed at $15.15 Monday.

ANALYST'S INSIGHTS: JPMorgan analysts weren't too hot on Emerson last week after the company reported quarterly profit of $728 million but missed analyst expectations for earnings per share: "We see positives such as backlog and a reaffirmation that orders will be up 5-7% in 4Q. However, none of the core businesses beat expectations, with the biggest miss at the key Process business, and stubborn weakness at Net Power."

Jacob Barker is a business reporter at the Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @jacobbarker and the Business section @postdispatchbiz.


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Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

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