Equities Market Roundup: Pressure Mounting on U.S. Debt Ceiling, EU Banks

Equities Editors Desk  |

Stocks got hammered in early trading today as the current U.S. debt ceiling debate failed to show any real progress and concerns over Europe's financial situation also helped to stoke fear in the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and NASDAQ are all down well over 1 percent in mid day trading. Financial stocks led decliners as basically all sub-industries across the board are getting dragged down; from banks like Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) to credit card companies like American Express (AXP) and Mastercard (MA) to insurance companies like Allstate (ALL) and Traverlers (TRV) are down. Oddly enough, the U.S. dollar as investors are moving away from stocks and despite the risk of a default on certain obligations from the government. Gold is also moving higher as a flight to safety and pushed through $1,600. Oil, however, is down due to the dollar's rise. U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner did say today on an interview with CNBC that congressional leaders have agreed that a default is not an option, however, as the Aug. 2 deadline to reach a deal is quickly approaching, pressure on the government to unveil a new plan is only going to increase.

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Major U.S. Stock Indices

DJIA: 12,321.47 (-1.27 percent)
S&P 500: 1,298.99 (-1.30 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,749.60 (-1.44 percent)
Russell 2000: 812.76 (-1.94 percent)

In other news:

  • News Corp. (NWSA) and the News of the Worldscandal is getting more salacious as two top police officials have resigned and former chief editor Rebekah Brooks getting arrested over the weekend. [NY Times]
  • Europe's bank stress test has done little to calm the markets and is being criticized for being too lenient. What's worse is the 8 of the 91 banks failed, and another 16 just barely passed. [WSJ]
  • If the U.S. does lose its pristine credit rating, the road back to AAA from a downgrade is arduous at best, and impossible at worst. [Fortune]
  • China, the largest holder of U.S. debt, either sees a buying opportunity in the dollar or is trying to keep its current invests from tanking. [The Street]
  • "Because of a prolonged lack of trading volume and after significant discussion with industry participants, CME will be delisting Frozen Pork Bellies Futures and Options effective Monday, July 18, 2011." [Minyanville]

Check back for more news.

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