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Wall St. Week Ahead: Stocks may be vulnerable in earnings blitz

By Ryan Vlastelica NEW YORK (Reuters) - The initial reads on earnings have been mixed, and yet U.S. stocks are hovering near all-time highs. Next week, investors will see whether the first companies out of the gate were a harbinger of what's to come. More than 60 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to release results next week, including more than half a dozen Dow components. The reports will give the fullest picture yet of how corporations are faring and whether the market can advance further as Fed stimulus begins to recede.

European stocks to hit new highs in 2014 on recovery optimism

By Atul Prakash LONDON (Reuters) - European stock markets will extend their strong rally into 2014, driven by optimism about a more durable economic recovery and the prospect of a long period of very accommodative monetary policy, a Reuters poll showed. Even with real concerns about uneven economic performance - with Germany leading but No. 2 economy France struggling, to say nothing of Greece, Spain or Portugal - European shares were picked to be the world's top performers in the latest surveys.

Canadian stocks poised for solid growth in 2014

By John Tilak TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian stock market may deliver its best performance in four years in 2014 as a global economic recovery gathers steam, driving up sagging commodity prices and natural resource shares, a Reuters poll found. The median forecast in a poll of 40 market analysts taken in the past week showed the benchmark Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index <.GSPTSE> gaining over 9 percent from current levels to reach 14,363 by the end of next year.

Wall Street Week Ahead: As Fed taper debate goes on, retail vies for attention

By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - The guessing game about when the Federal Reserve will start to cut its stimulus will enter a new round next week as stock investors dissect minutes from the last central bank meeting, while retail sales and clues about the consumer will also vie for attention.

Wall St. Week Ahead: Market priced for perfection as earnings, data flow

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. data clog will begin to clear next week and payrolls figures will land just as more than one-quarter of S&P 500 companies report earnings. But equities, at record highs, have already surpassed expectations for the year and could begin to drift sideways.

Analysis: Biotech's bull run starts to look frothy

By Deena Beasley (Reuters) - Biotech stocks are so hot that even some of the bulls are starting to find themselves on edge. An index of biotech drugmakers' shares has climbed nearly 50 percent in the past 12 months to all-time highs as the industry starts to launch drugs developed by identifying genes associated with disease - a revolution made possible by decoding the first human genome more than 10 years ago.

Analysis - Underappreciated consumer stars in S&P 500 rally

By Rodrigo Campos and Herbert Lash NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors who had bet on the American consumer even as the U.S. economy was entering the Great Recession are the biggest winners as the S&P 500 stock index set a new closing record on Thursday. Millions of jobs were lost in 2008 and 2009, the toughest recession in half a century, and many Americans saw the value of their investments and their homes dive. The U.S. consumer retrenched, focused on paying down debt.

FTSE snaps three-day rally after miner weakness

By Alistair Smout LONDON (Reuters) - The FTSE 100 fell on Friday after a three-day rally, as investors backed away from riskier sectors and U.S. GDP figures came in below expectations. Material and energy stocks, which are sensitive to optimism over the global economic outlook, took 26 points off the FTSE 100, dragging the index into negative territory.

UPDATE 2-Cobham sees commercial sector as best form of defence

* Says could borrow 800 mln stg for acquisitions * Full-year pretax profit down 8 pct to 302 mln stg * Group revenue falls 6 pct to 1.75 bln stg * Increases dividend 10 pct to 8.8 pence per share By Brenda Goh LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - British defence and aerospace supplier Cobham is to expand its commercial aircraft division and continue cost-cutting to offset forecast U.S. budget cutbacks and return the company to growth next year.
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