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Market Update

U.S. Indexes Pause, Investors Struggle to Separate Economy and Weather

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 10:30 AM ET March 11 2014

10:30 AM New York – Stocks on Wall Street paused and investors digested latest earnings announcements. Most companies have exceeded the low earnings expectations but retailers struggle and harsh winter played a role in consumer spending and construction sector.

Stocks on Wall Street paused as earning season winds down and investors look for news on the economy and review developments in Ukraine.

S&P 500 index declined 0.63 to 1,876.54 and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 6.76 to 4,340.21.

Stocks meandered in the morning trading on Wall Street and indexes in Europe generally advanced.

Investors also digested the latest announcements of the details of banking industry liberalization in China.

World Markets

In London trading, FTSE 100 index rose 0.05% or 3.14 to 6,692.59 and in Frankfurt the DAX index gained 0.6% or 60.60 to 9,326.10.

In Paris, CAC 40 index slid 0.1% or 6.07 to 4,364.77.

Markets in Asia close mixed and indexes in Tokyo advanced after the Bank of Japan left its bond purchase program intact.

China Offers Bank Liberalization Details

China also offered first details of its interest rates and bank liberalization program.

People’s Bank of China and financial regulators today said China will permit the establishment of privately owned banks and liberalize interest rates as early as next year.

The pace of reform are likely to happen faster than expected after President Xi Jinping offered a framework of the market-driven reforms in November.

China determines what rates are paid on savings account. The current upper limit of the one-year household savings deposit is set at 3% for one-year term and is set at as low as 0.35% for short term or current account.

The officials at the press conference also said that the government has approved five new private banks.

China’s government tightly controls its vast network of local and regional banks and total assets at these banks have surged to 151 trillion yuan or $25 trillion.

U.S. Stocks in Review

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) declined 6% reported better than expected fourth quarter earnings and issued a cautious outlook for sales in the current quarter. The company also blamed harsh winter conditions for the weakness in the demand.

Boyd Gaming Corp soared 18% after activist investor Elliott Associates reported a nearly 5% stake in the company in a regulatory filing on Monday.

FuelCell Energy Inc (FCEL) gained 18.8% to $4.65 after the fuel cell maker reported fiscal first-quarter losses narrowed and revenues rose more than expected.

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