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Thursday, May 15, 2014

STOCKS SLIDE: Here's What You Need To Know

Stocks slid.


Dow: 16,613.97, -0.61%S&P 500: 1,888.52, -0.47%NASDAQ: 4,100.63, -0.72%

And now the top stories:

Producer prices surged 2.1% year-over-year in April, beating expectations. Food prices climbed the most since 2011. Capital Economics' Paul Dales says the data signal that expansion is basically here. "...While March's rise was a rebound from the 0.3% m/m fall in February triggered by the bad weather, April's gain seems to be more genuine. Two-thirds of it was due to an increase in the margins of wholesalers of machinery and equipment, which may be a result of a cyclical pick-up in demand for capital goods. At face value, the increase in core total finished goods PPI inflation to 2.0%, from 1.6% in March, suggests that core CPI inflation will rise from 1.7% in March to around 2.0% within a matter of month. Although we don't expect this rise to happen so soon, we are expecting the stronger economic recovery and rising wage growth to push core CPI inflation above 2% next year." Bonds rallied, with yields falling to a 7-month low at 2.5231%. Stifel Nicolaus' Dave Lutz cited four reasons for the sharp drop-off: the German bund market's own rally, Japanese demand for higher yield (Japan debt trades even lower), monetary policy in China, and an apparent short squeeze. S&P raised the credit rating for Greece's largest banks, the FT said. Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank, National Bank of Greece and Eurobank Ergasias all had their credit rating raised to CCC+ from CCC, while the outlook for all four banks is stable. Citi's investigation into a possible $400 million fraud at its Mexican unit continues to widen as the firm announced it had terminated 11 individuals indirectly implicated in the scheme.  Dean Baquet was named The New York Times' first-ever African-American executive editor after the paper terminated Jill Abramson. Baquet, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was the paper's Washington Bureau Chief. Macy's sales missed expectations as weather weighed on foot traffic.

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