STOCKS FALL: Here's What You Need To Know

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Students hold capotes during a bullfight master class for schoolchildren at the Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain, April 23, 2014.

The stock market's win streak ended today.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 16,501.6 (-12.7, -0.0%)
  • S&P 500: 1,875.3 (-4.1, -0.2%)
  • Nasdaq: 4,126.9, (-34.4, -0.8%)

And now the top stories:

  • After a rough tumble in the last month and a half, stocks went on a six-day win streak, which ended today. Here's Rich Barry of the NYSE MAC Desk on this year's bumpy ride so far: "Why the speed bump? Remember, coming into 2014, market-gurus were predicting that this would be the year when the U.S. economy and the global economy finally gained some major traction and began to move under their own power. Under this scenario, the market credo in early January was “sell bonds / buy stocks” as the Great Rotation out of fixed income and into equities was finally going to take place. However, as a seasoned market-watcher once said, “when you think you have the keys to the market, they change the locks on you!” --- and the ‘great rotation’ is looking more like the ‘great pumpkin’ everyday."
  • We got to preliminary reads on the state of manufacturing in April. China's Flash manufacturing PMI climbed to 48.3 in April from 48.0 in March. "Domestic demand showed mild improvement and deflationary pressures eased, but downside risks to growth are still evident as both new export orders and employment contracted," said noted HSBC's Hongbin Qu. "The State Council released new measures to support growth and employment after the release of Q1 GDP. Whilst initial impact will likely be limited, they signaled readiness to do more if necessary. We think more measures may be unveiled in the coming months and the PBoC will keep sufficient liquidity."
  • U.S. Flash manufacturing PMI slipped to 55.4 in April from 55.5 in March. This wasn't as good as the 56.0 expected by economists. "Manufacturers reported a solid start to the second quarter, with output growing at its fastest pace for over three years," noted Markit's Chris Williamson. "With manufacturing acting as a good bellwether of the rest of the economy, the survey bodes well for further robust economic growth in the second quarter."
  • New home sales plunged 14.5% to an annualized pace of 384,000 units. This was much worse than the 450,000 level expected by economists. "It's hard to make much sense out of the recent pattern of these data as currently reported," said Morgan Stanley's Ted Wieseman. "January sales in the worst of the winter weather were revised up to 470,000, a six-year high, and supposedly since surging to a cycle high during the polar vortex, sales have now plummeted 18% in the past two months as the weather has improved and mortgage rates have moved a bit lower."
  • Here's more from Wieseman on the home sales report: "Low supplies of homes for sale probably contributed to softer recent sales and boosted prices, but much of the recent volatility in sales is likely sampling noise, and a record increase in prices mostly resulted from a large shift in the mix of homes sold. This data point should be discounted, in our view, but on an underlying basis housing does seem to be a notable lagging area as other parts of the economy show signs of broadly improving with the weather, with credit and inventory issues in the West weighing on home sales in recent months."
  • Apple and Facebook announce Q1 earnings after the closing bell. Follow the release live on BusinessInsider.com.
  • Don't Miss: Why A New Skyscraper In Saudi Arabia Could Mean Doom For The Global Economy »


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