Wall Street is trading up today as the recent slide in commodities prices may have found a footing, even if it could only be temporary. Commodities prices like oil and precious metals have been sliding this week and stocks have been dragged down as a result. Energy stocks have taken the brunt of the decline. Adding to the market's uncertainty is the ongoing concern of the U.S. government's deficit spending and the lack of a new budget plan to get the nation's finances in order. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke also called on Congress to raise the nation's debt ceiling, warning that an increase in the borrowing cap could be epicly disastrous. With the Federal Reserve's QE2 strategy due to expire next month, analysts are expecting a negative impact on the stock market as well as other assets. Economic data released today also did little to reassure investors. Unemployment claims dropped, but not enough to meet economist expectations. Retail sales were also unimpressive.
Major U.S. Stock Indices
DJIA: 12,690.54 (+0.48 percent)
S&P 500: 1,347.63 (+0.40 percent)
Nasdaq: 2,858.88 (+0.48 percent)
Russell 2000: 847.80 (+0.85 percent)
In other news:
- Big Oil companies like Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and BP (NYSE: BP) are forced to justify their need for tax breaks in front of Congress. [AP]
- High-end shoppers can now add brand names like Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo on their shopping list of public companies. Luxury brand stocks currently trading on the market already include LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (Pink Sheets: LVMHF), Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) and Burberry (LSX: BRBY). [Marketwatch]
- Things are looking worse at the Japanese nuclear crisis site as one of the reactors at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant may have suffered a substantial meltdown of its core. [WSJ]
- Raj Rajaratnam of Galleon Group is faces up to 205 years in prison after being convicted of 14 counts of securities fraud. Even Bernie Madoff was only sentenced to 150 years. [Economist]
- What the heck is going on at Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO). [Reuters]
Check back as more news develops.
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