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By Jason Stipp and Jeremy Glaser | 07-12-2013 08:00 AM

The Friday Five

Five stats from the market and the stories behind them. This week: the Fed's word on flexibility, Microsoft's new look, and two e-bookends.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar and welcome to The Friday Five: five stats from the market and the stories behind them.

Joining me as always with the Friday Five is Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser.

Jeremy, thanks for being here.

Jeremy Glaser: You're welcome, Jason.

Stipp: What do you have for The Friday Five this week?

Glaser: We're going to talk about 100, $177, $9.99, 4, and finally, 2.

Stipp: 100 marks the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve. We heard from Bernanke this week. The Fed has obviously been very involved in the markets and the economy in recent times, and he said that that flexibility is likely to continue.

Glaser: Yes, I don't think it's going away anytime soon.

Bernanke looked back at a conference and in a speech this week over the last 100 years, and he remarked just how much flexibility there has been and how many changes there have been since 1913.

I think we are going to see the Fed continuing to be somewhat flexible in the face of these unusual market conditions we have right now. After all the fears of the Fed taper, they've really been trying to soothe those over the last couple of weeks--and in particular this week when Bernanke said that he expects monetary policy will remain very easy for a considerable amount of time, and that they are not really talking about tightening, just … taking their foot off the accelerator a little bit.

The Fed minutes from that June meeting that started to cause a lot of these worries showed that, yes, the governors are talking about a potential exit policy, but they are very conflicted about it. It doesn't look like something that maybe is as imminent as many had thought. I think it's a sign that the Fed is really reading the market leaves, is reading what's happening, and they are willing to be flexible as possible. They're not on a dogmatic policy route, like they are just going to do it because they think they have to. They are really going to look at those conditions before they make any changes. I think that's something that soothed the markets a bit this week.

Stipp: $177 million is the amount that Barnes & Noble lost in its Nook unit, and this is a bad story for a unit that they were hanging a lot of hopes on.

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