I’m Amy Anderson for OptionRally TV.
Let’s take a look at the global markets and news that all traders and investors should
be aware of. Stocks wobble
Herbalife under investigation as stocks tank And the Japanese buying gold at record rates Let’s take a quick look at what is happening
in the global markets now. Equity markets tanked after US data printed
lackluster results and disappointing corporate earnings. The Dow dropped more than 180 points
and declined for the third day in a row, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ also finished lower.
Stocks have been off to a rocky start in 2014 while bonds have outperformed. Europe’s data
was more warmly received as business activity, as measured by the purchasing managers index
, hit a 31-month high, with Germany leading the way.
In earnings news, McDonald’s reported a flat profit number in the fourth quarter. That
figure was expected by the market but not viewed as cause for much optimism.
Shares of Herbalife tumbled 13% and closed down 10% Thursday after U.S. Senator Ed Markey
said he has called on the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission
to investigate the nutritional supplements company for running a pyramid scheme after
receiving complaints. Hedge fund mogul Ackman has been calling Herbalife a “pyramid scheme”
for over a year. The hedge fund titan first announced his short position — a bet that
the stock would fall — in December 2012. In fact, he said that he thinks the company’s
stock will eventually be worthless. Carl Icahn bought a big position in Herbalife. Renown
investor Icahn is now Herbalife’s largest shareholder with an almost 17% stake in the
company. In The foreign exchange market, the US dollar
gained against the yen in Asia this morning after plunging on weak Chinese data which
sparked worries over emerging markets. In Tokyo midday trade, the dollar drew to 103.49,
but still nearly one yen lower than levels in Tokyo on Thursday. The euro, which climbed
Thursday on upbeat eurozone economic data, bought $1.36-81 Traders moved into the safe-haven
yen Thursday as US shares sank on the weak China report and lackluster corporate earnings,
while they look ahead to a Federal Reserve policy meeting next week. Moving to the commodities market gold sales
by Japan’s biggest bullion retailer surged 63 percent to a five-year high as prices slumped
and investors sought refuge from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to stoke inflation and
weaken the yen. Gold is trading at 12-59.70 near to the top this year.
Oil prices edged higher this morning. West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 19 cents
at $97.51 while Brent North Sea crude rose 11 cents at $107.69. The Department of Energy’s
weekly petroleum stockpiles report, delayed by a day by a US holiday Monday, showed a
significant drawdown in distillate fuel as severe winter weather blanketed the US and
Canada increasing heating demand. This is Amy Anderson from OptionRally signing
off. Follow me on Facebook and watch for our new financial terms of the day and our weekly
events news. Have a great weekend