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Stocks Slide, Blackberry Remains in the Headlines

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Stocks Slide, Blackberry Remains in the Headlines

Stocks started the trading session off on a mixed note with the Nasdaq continuing to outperform the S&P 500 index and the Dow Industrial Average.  Three news stocks were added to the Dow Industrials on Monday, replacing some old standbys.  As of September 23, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) , Visa (NYSE:V) and Nike (NYSE:NKE) will join the Dow index, replacing Bank of America, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Alcoa (NYSE:AA) .  Economic data release in the US was softer than expected, generating light headwinds for the major averages.

Flash manufacturing data for the month of September showed softness relative to August’s levels. Financial data firm Markit reported that U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index declined to 52.8 in September compared to 53.1 in August. Output growth accelerated to a six-month high of 55.3 from 52.5, but new orders declined forecasting slower growth in the fourth quarter. The employment sub-index fell to 51.4, marking the slowest rate of job creation in three months.

Stocks are continuing to follow future tapering by absorbing comments from US FOMC members. NY Fed Governor William Dudley comments on Monday were relatively dovish stating that the U.S. economy needs more economic stimulus. Dudley said the two conditions needed to justify a tapering have not yet been met.

In corporate news, Blackberry (NASDAQ:BBRY) continued to trade under pressure.  The smartphone maker pre-announced negative earnings on Friday and cut its job force substantially.  The company also announced that their strategy would change to focus on business consumers and away from retail. On Monday, BlackBerry signed a tentative deal to be bought by a consortium – which is being led by its biggest shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings (TSX:FFH) for $9 a share, valuing the company at near $4.7 billion.

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