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Midday Market Update

Stocks Reverse Losses; Jobs, Syria in Focus


U.S. Market    
Stocks reversed early losses this morning after a mostly disappointing jobs report and concerns over possible military action in Syria.

The U.S. economy added 169,000 jobs in August, below the 175,000 excepted by economists. June and July’s job numbers were revised downward by a combined 74,000. The unemployment rate fell to 7.3% from 7.4% as more people dropped out of the workforce. Hourly wages ticked up slightly to $24.05 from $24.00. The worse-than-expected report raised some doubts that the Federal Reserve would proceed with its tapering of bond purchases at its September meeting. Treasuries rebounded on the news, with yields on the 10-year note falling below 3%

At midday the Dow and Nasdaq were up 0.2% while the S&P 500 was 0.3% higher.

Stocks on the Move
 American Tower (AMT) announced it has agreed to  acquire Global Tower Partners (known as GTP) for $4.8 billion. GTP owns and operates roughly 5,400 domestic towers and 800 domestic property interests under third-party communications sites, and has management rights to more than 9,000 domestic sites (which are primarily rooftop assets). The firm will also take over the 500 sites GTP has in Costa Rica, although its Mexican towers were not part of this deal. The deal boosts the firm’s U.S.-owned tower portfolio base by nearly 25% and materially strengthens its presence in top 10 markets such as New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. The price tag of nearly 18 times cash flow is on the high end of the historical range, but this move should be immediately accretive to adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) and all of the firm’s key operational metrics. American Tower’s shares rose over 4% on the news.

Foreign Markets
European markets were mostly higher after a volatile day. In late trading, the FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC were up 0.1%, 0.5% and 1.1% respectively.

Asian shares were mixed. The Nikkei 225 was off 1.5% on the day. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.8% while the Hang Seng tacked on 0.1%. 

Jeremy Glaser does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.