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Friday, Dec. 1
The Indiana Daily Student


Investors keep an eye on election results, Federal Reserve

Political uncertainty affects stock market

The markets this week will again be affected by the presidential election and the guidance companies provide investors toward their future growth. \n"The market remains gripped by the political uncertainty, but the real worries for the market are earnings going forward," Peter Cardillo, chief strategist and director of research at Westfalia Investments, told The Wall Street Journal. "Investors do not like uncertainty and the outcome of this election is still up in the air."\nThe Federal Reserve will meet Wednesday to discuss interest rates. Most analysts agree the Fed will not change rates. \n"Interest rates are still at lofty levels and there is no sign of coming down," Bill Hummer, portfolio manager for Wayne Hummer Investments, told CNBC. "Sometimes when this happens, you'll see interest rates start to decline. That is not occurring this time around. I don't think the Fed is going to do anything to ease (the interest rates)."\nIf the Fed does hint that it might ease its stance toward inflation, it could help the markets.\nLast Week\nBoth markets closed notably lower Friday. The NASDAQ finished down 170.99 points to 3029.36, ending the day at its lowest close of the year. The NASDAQ experienced five consecutive days of losses and is down 12 percent for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average did not fare much better than the NASDAQ, closing down 231.30 points to 10602.95. The Dow lost 2 percent this week.\nStock News\nHome Depot is expected to release its earnings Tuesday. The company warned investors Oct. 12 that its earnings would not meet expectations. Analysts now expect Home Depot to earn 28 cents a share, according to First Call.\nBest Buy said it expects third- and fourth-quarter earnings to come in at 27 cents and 90 cents a share, respectively. Wall Street had been expecting the company to earn 44 cents for the third quarter and $1.01 in the fourth quarter. In a press statement released Thursday, Best Buy announced that increased promotional activity will lead to reduced gross margins and profitability.\nDell released earnings of 25 cents per share, matching the expectations of analysts. Dell executives announced during a teleconference that they expect revenue growth of 20 percent next year, down from the company's earlier estimate of 30 percent. Investors were displeased with the weaker sales guidance as Dell shares fell nearly 20 percent Friday.\nFinal Note\nThe NASDAQ is down more than 25 percent for the year. Once the outcome of the election is settled, the market might turn positive, but what the market is really watching is the state of the economy. The investors will pay attention to the Federal Reserve's every move Wednesday.

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