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Market Update

Directionless U.S. and European Markets Focus on Global Economic Slowdown

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 1:54 PM ET September 21 2015

1:55 PM New York City, New York – Stocks on Wall Street lacked direction and worried investors focused on the global economic slowdown after the Fed relegated rate hike later in the year, if at all. European markets brace for more volatile times after the reelection of Syriza party led government in Greece.]

U.S. stocks turned lower in the afternoon and biotech and pharmaceutical stocks led the decliners.

Stocks on Wall Street rebounded after the steep selloff on Friday, but the morning-advance was short-lived after biotech stocks were dragged down after U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she would put forth a plan to prevent “price gouging” for “specialty drugs.”

Despite the market jitters of the day, investors still remained divided about the interest rate direction.

More economists and market traders are hoping that the U.S. Fed may not raise rates at all this year. In addition, a private survey showed that home resale annual pace declined more than anticipated.

Seasonally adjusted annual rate for existing home sales in August declined 4.8% to 5.31 million from the downwardly revised 5.58 million in July but surged 6.2% from a year ago month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

On Wall Street, Tollbooth Strategy Index jumped 141.77 or 1.4% to 10,466.21.

S&P 500 index dropped 32.51 or 1.6% to 1,958.08 and the Nasdaq Composite Index slumped 66.71 or 1.4% to 4,827.23.

Crude oil in New York decreased $1.93 to $44.94 a barrel and gold soared $21 to $1,138.10 an ounce.

U.S. Movers

Lennar Corporation (LEN) increased 1.8% or 92 cents to $52.69 after the home builder reported total revenues in the third-quarter ending in August surged 24% from a year ago to $2.5 billion.

Net income in the quarter soared 25.6% to $223.3 million or 96 cents per diluted share compared to $177.8 million or 78 cents from the same quarter last year.

The homebuilder said new orders jumped 10% to 6,495 homes valued at about $2.3 billion, increase of 20%.

Neogen Corporation (NEOG) declined 7.5% or $4.05 to $50.14 after the food and animal safety products maker said revenues in the first-quarter ending in August soared 11% from a year ago to $74.9 million.

Net income in the quarter jumped 4.9% to $9.3 million or 25 cents per diluted share compared to $8.9 million or 24 cents from the same quarter last year.

European Markets

European markets took in stride the latest Greek election results and the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras controlled Syriza party increased its standing in the parliament.

Syriza won 145 of 300 seats and its junior coalition partner won ten seats, providing a viable cushion for the coalition to server the full-term and provided more authority to negotiate with international lenders and implement financial and economic reforms.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index gained 31.72 or 0.5% to 6,113.20 and in Frankfurt the DAX index rose 17.85 or 0.2% to 9,933.85.

In Paris, CAC 40 index jumped 48.86 or 1.1% to 4,584.58.

Deutsche Wohnen AG plunged 6.9% to €22.38 after the Germany-based residential property developer agreed to acquire smaller rival LEG Immobilien AG for €79:37 per share or €4.6 billion, a premium of 13% to the closing price before the deal announcement.

Under the terms, shareholders of LEG Immobilien will receive 33 Deutsche Wohnen shares for each of 10 LEG shares.

After the merger, the combined portfolio of 250,000 residential units worth about €17 billion.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year.

LEG Immobilien AG stock jumped 4.6% to €73.48.

Volkswagen AG plummeted 20% to €129.90 after the Germany-based automaker was alleged by the U.S. regulatory authorities for falsifying emissions data for diesel-powered vehicles.

The U.S. officials said the company violated two parts of the Federal Clean Air Act and may face penalty of as much as $37,500 per car or more than $18 billion.

Volkswagen’s chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn apologized for violating customers'' trust and asked its U.S. dealers to halt sales of certain 2015 and 2016 models containing the four-cylinder two-liter TDI diesel engine passenger cars.

The company said it has started investigation to measure toxic emissions.

The company also ordered an external investigation into the matter, these may affected approximately 482,000 diesel-powered cars.

Asian Markets

Markets in Japan were closed.

Stocks in Mumbai struggled after mixed close in Asian markets and investors focused on domestic corporate news.

Rupee weakened 5 paisa to 65.72 against one U.S. dollar.

The Sensex Index fell 25.93 to close at 26,192.98. The CNX Nifty slid 4.80 to 7,977.10.

Hotel Leelaventure agreed to sell its marquee hotel in Goa for $111 million to a Malaysia-based firm.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc