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Stocks: Rocky end to the quarter

MGN Online
Friday, June 28, 2013 - 6:00pm

Stocks are on track to end the quarter with modest gains Friday, despite a rough June.

All three indexes are headed for a monthly decline of 1%, making June the first losing month this year.

It's wasn't the June swoon, but perhaps the June jitterbug? The Dow has swung more than 100 points on 15 out of the 20 trading days this month.

Despite recent gyrations, stocks are up 12% to 15% so far this year.

Fears of Fed taper: Fed officials have been in major damage control mode, since Fed chairman Ben Bernanke kicked off tumult in the stock, bond and gold markets last week. He said the central bank could wind down its stimulus program later this year, if the economy continues to improve.

Fed governor Jeremy Stein, while trying to allay investor fears, appeared to have inadvertently stoked them Friday. He said the Fed could "hypothetically" consider tapering its bond buying in September.

At the same time, he said investors were overreacting, but that didn't seem to make a dent in sentiment.

After selling off at the open, the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 were down between 0.1% and 0.4% in late afternoon trading. Nasdaq moved up roughly 0.3%

Richmond Fed president Jeremy Lacker said the Fed will keep buying bonds, "though at a decreasing rate over the next year."

Bond, gold carnage: The mere mention of any end to bond buying has recently sent bond investors scrambling for the exits. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note hit 2.65% earlier this week -- its highest level since August 2011 and well above the 1.6% in early May.

Gold prices have been slammed as well. Gold dropped more than 1% Friday, and is down 13% this month.

As volatility rose in June, so did the CBOE Volatility Index. The VIX rose just 4% this month but it's up 37% for the quarter.

CNNMoney's Fear and Greed Index has had a wild quarter as well. A month ago it was in greed and even nudged into extreme greed in mid-May. But once Bernanke hinted at tapering, the needle quickly shot over to extreme fear.

BlackBerry bombs: Embattled mobile company BlackBerry reported first-quarter results Friday that fell short of analysts' forecasts. Shares tumbled 25%.

Nike reported better-than-expected earnings, but analysts remain worried about Nike's ability to cut costs.

Shares of Accenture moved lower after the consulting firm slashed expectations for its year-end results.

Shares of Pfizer edged higher after the drug maker announced late Thursday that it would increased its share buyback program by $10 billion.

The restaurant chain Noodles & Co's stock more than doubled from its $18 IPO price Friday.

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