Daily Market Overview Monday, August 9, 4:56 PM ET
Major U.S. markets eked out a gain today as investors seemed hopeful tomorrow's Federal Open Market Committee will decide on economic policy that will help boost growth. The reason for their optimism - Friday's jobs report was weaker than expected and so positive action may be warranted. That report is expected out tomorrow afternoon, and so stocks will likely remain in a narrow range until then. Traders are also anxiously waiting for the Bank of Japan to wrap up its economic policy meeting on Tuesday.
The Dow also received a boost today from McDonald's, which reported its sales rose 7% in July. McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) said because of the hot weather, more of its customers were ordering its cold drinks, including the McCafe Real Fruit Smoothies and its Frappes.
There were some positive comments from the investment community buoying stocks today. Needham & Co. raised its price target on shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to $375 per share as sales of its iPad and Mac are growing at steady rates. Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) raised its price target on shares of Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) to $63 per share, saying the firm continues to perform well.
The Dow component taking the biggest hit today was Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ). The company's CEO resigned following sexual harassment allegations against him by a former contractor. Barclays (NYSE:BCS) lowered its price target for Hewlett Packard to $55 from $60 as a result of the news and the stock was down over 7% today.
Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) was also weak today after Citigroup (NYSE:C) lowered its price target to $79 per Colgate share. The firm expects earnings to fall as the company tries to increase its sales of the next few quarters.
Overall, the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ were all higher, but less than 1%.
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