July 15--TODAY'S INDEXES -- Dow industrials 17060.68 + 5.26
S&P 500 1973.28 -3.82
Nasdaq 4416.39 -24.03
FED'S SELL SIGNAL: The Federal Reserve doesn't often express an opinion on the stock market, but it made an exception today in the case of biotechnology and social media stocks. In a monetary policy report to Congress, the central bank opined that "valuation metrics in some sectors do appear substantially stretched -- particularly those for smaller firms in the social media and biotechnology industries." Right on cue, the Global X Social Media Index dropped 1.1 percent and the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index tumbled 2.2 percent.
MIXED MESSAGE: The S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent but the Dow tacked on 0.03 percent and is now less than 8 points from the record it set July 3. The Fed isn't bearish on the overall market, by the way: It says valuations show that "in aggregate, investors are not excessively optimistic regarding equities."
SELL THE NEWS: A Wall Street aphorism says you should buy on rumor but sell on news, and it held true today after the announcement of a $27 billion tobacco merger. Shares of the buyer,
EARNINGS CHEERS: JPMorgan Chase surged 3.5 percent after the big bank reported earnings. Second-quarter profit fell 8 percent but that was better than expected as investment banking fees helped offset a drop in trading revenue.
... AND JEERS:
LOCAL INDEX: The Bloomberg St. Louis Index lost 0.4 percent, doing a bit worse than the overall market.
STL STOCKS GAINERS LOSERS
American Railcar 0.8%
ANALYST'S INSIGHTS: Ben Strubel, of Strubel Investment Management in Lancaster, Pa., has named
THE DAY AHEAD: The parade of big-bank earnings reports continues, with
David Nicklaus is business columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Subscribe to his