No QE3 Til September: Markets Slide

The big swings in the market today were not due to QE3 rumors, but caused by what seems to be a technology glitch by trading firm Knight Capital, with over 150 NYSE stocks experiencing price swings on abnormal volume levels. Outside of the unusual price swings, the broad markets plunged lower immediately following the Federal Reserve's statement that no stimulus would be coming after it completed its two-day policy meeting. While economic data being released is disappointing, the Fed will delay taking further action and re-address the economy during their next meeting in mid-September.




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Source: Yahoo! Finance 2:15 p.m. EDT.

We are more than halfway through the second-quarter-earnings releases, and at the start of this week 67% of the companies in the S&P 500 reported earnings better than analysts expected (according to S&P Capital IQ). However, the bad news is that even though estimates are higher than expected, only four of the 10 sectors are expected to show positive growth during the second quarter.

With energy being one of the negative growth sectors, Phillips 66 (NYS: PSX) is a pleasant surprise. The independent refiner, a recent spinoff of ConocoPhillips, increased its second-quarter profit by 13% on increased margins as crack spreads reached their highest level in five years.

MasterCard (NYS: MA) also announced its second-quarter performance today, nudging out expectations by $0.10, turning in earnings of $5.65 per share. The credit card company grew revenue by 9.2% compared to last year's quarter. MasterCard increased the number of transactions and gross dollar value while lowering its tax rate.

Outside the earnings realm, Facebook's (NAS: FB) nasty slide continued today, as both it and Zynga hit all-time lows. The social media company is down 3.9%. The company is struggling to gain traction as it tries to make advertising profits off of its increasingly mobile subscriber base. To gain more insight into the Facebook story and to understand the opportunities and risks the company is up against, subscribe to The Motley Fool's new premium report outlining must-watch areas you need to know about the social media giant.

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