U.S. stocks were down over 1 percent in mid-day trading today but has since recovered some losses. All eyes are on U.S. consumer prices as April saw food and energy costs continue to increase rapidly. While the numbers aren't drastically high, the trend of rising costs on U.S. households could be a sign that the economy is not ready to recover, and worst, could be back on the decline. According to the U.S. Labor Department, consumer prices rose 0.4 percent last month, but if excluding food and energy, prices only increased 0.2 percent. However, major consumer goods companies like Proctor and Gamble (NYSE: PG), Kimberly Clarke (NYSE: KMB), and Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL) have said in their Q1 conference calls that they plan to raise prices for their goods to offset the rise of material costs. Elsewhere, the financial crisis in the European Union also has investors uneasy because bailouts for their PIG countries (Portugal, Ireland and Greece) could cost more than previously expected.
Major U.S. Stock Indices
DJIA: 12,592.57 (-0.81 percent)
S&P 500: 1,338.07 (-0.78 percent)
Nasdaq: 2,831.73 (-1.09 percent)
Russell 2000: 836.58 (-0.49 percent)
In other news:
- Just to give you an idea of how bad the U.S. budget deficit is right now, an overwhelming 2-to-1 majority of investors polled believe the government needs to raise taxes in order to fix its financial system. [Bloomberg]
- Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM) continues to aggressively attack the Chinese market. The owner of KFC, Taco Bell and others is offering to buy Little Sheep, a hot pot chain in Asia. [NY Times]
- Athletes and entertainment celebrities aren't the only ones that need to watch what they say on Twitter. Though Jim Cramer has become a celebrity in his own right. [Dealbreaker]
- Is the dollar really moving higher? If so, commodities players may need to get a move on it, and fast. [CNBC]
- So Facebook tried to throw Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) under the bus. [WSJ]
Check back for more news.
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