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Stocks Start September With Mixed Finish

Jeffrey Sica, chief investment officer at SICA Wealth Management, cautions that Draghi's comments over the last few weeks offering hopes of ECB support could prove to be "beyond reckless, as he spoke in advance of a wholehearted world commitment -- especially Germany," whose constitutional court has yet to deliver a ruling on the ratification of the permanent European Stability Mechanism rescue fund. The ruling is expected on Sept. 12.

"Chances are he will attempt to stall the process over again and wait for official ratification," Sica said.

The FTSE in London finished down 1.50% and the DAX in Germany closed lower by 1.17%, coming off the prior session's rally.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng index closed lower by 0.66% and the Nikkei in Japan finished down 0.10%.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 8/32, raising the yield to 1.580%. The greenback was up 0.17%, according to the dollar index.

October crude oil futures settled down $1.17 at $95.30 a barrel and December gold futures rose $8.40 to settle at $1696 an ounce.

In corporate news, Apple shares rose after the company set the date for its next big event. The Sept. 12 happening is widely expected to be the launch of the iPhone 5.

Wedbush Morgan also lifted its price target on the stock to $885 from $800 and lifted its iPhone unit and earnings estimates, while also reiterating an outperform rating.

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) rose nearly 15% after the company agreed to buy dermatology products maker Medicis Pharmaceutical (MRX) for about $2.6 billion in cash. Medicis shares surged more than 38%.

Campbell Soup (CPB) posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 41 cents a share on revenue of $1.61 billion, beating analysts' estimates of 39 cents a share on revenue of $1.59 billion. Shares dipped slightly.

Ford (F) reported its sales for August rose 12.6%, better than the 9.8% increase that Edmunds was expecting. Shares added less than 1%.

General Motors (GM) reported August U.S. sales that rose 10%, better than the 6.4% gain that Edmunds forecasted. The stock closed down 0.19%.

Smithfield Foods (SFD) reported fiscal first-quarter earnings that declined 25% as its fresh pork business suffered from soft U.S. retail demand and higher supplies. Total packaged meats volume increased 4% in the first quarter. Shares were up more than 3%.

Heckmann (HEK) shares advanced 38% after the water solutions services provider to the shale or unconventional oil and gas exploration industry said it plans purchase privately-held environmental services firm Power Fuels for about $380.5 million in cash and stock.

--Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.
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