Intel beats, Yahoo misses, Fed unfriends social media
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 02:27
Summary: Stocks were most lower after a Federal Reserve warning on small cap social media and biotech stocks; Intel tops raised expectations; Yahoo results hurt by falling ad rates; Oil below $100. Conway G. Gittens reports.
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Social media and biotech stocks getting a finger-wagging from the Federal Reserve - that cast a cloud over the markets, but the Dow managed to bounce back by the end of the session.
It wasn't what Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in her testimony, but rather what policymakers wrote that caught the market's attention. In The Fed's semi-annual Monetary Policy report to Congress, the quote: "Signs of risk-taking have increased in some asset classes. Equity valuations of smaller firms as well as social media and biotechnology firms appear to be stretched, with ratios of prices to forward earnings remaining high relative to historic norms."
But Brian Jacobsen of Wells Fargo Advantage Funds thinks investors over-reacted to the Fed's main concern.
SOUNDBITE: BRIAN JACOBSEN, CHIEF PORTFOLIO STRATEGIST, WELLS FARGO ADVANTAGE FUNDS (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"They are really more concerned about the small cap social media stocks and the small cap biotech stocks, so it's not so much large cap social media or large cap biotech that they see valuations stretched. It is really in the small cap area, which is really the most speculative area of those two respective industries."
Nevertheless, Social media stock Yelp was hit the hardest, followed by Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Some of the more well known biotech stocks - also hurt by the warning: Biogen IDEC, Amgen, Celgene and Gilead Sciences all down for the day.
But two of the biggest losers in the S&P 500 were Lorillard and Reynold's after the world's largest cigarette makers revealed the price tag for their merger is $25 billion.
After the bell, earnings from tech land: Intel sales came in ahead of the guidance it gave a few weeks ago, while over at Yahoo, online ad rates were down last quarter and that means net revenues were down in line with forecasts.
Summing up other earnings: JPMorgan Chase results were not as bad as feared - sending that stock higher in the regular session. And Goldman Sachs topped forecasts - giving that stock a boost.
On the economic front, retail sales climbed again in June, suggesting spending picked up at the end of last quarter.
Analysts, however, are concerned about Michael Kors after going into stores and seeing more items on discount than normal. A downgrade and price cuts pushed the stock to a five-month low.
Speaking of lows: crude oil down below 100 bucks for the first time in two months.
Shares across Europe were down for the day.
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