Stocks are trading flat today despite positive earning announcements from several major companies. The initial sentiment from investors is that positive earnings this quarter may not necessarily be a good indicator of a stronger outlook. Meanwhile, Wall Street is anxiously anticipating President Obama's speech later today on how he plans to cut the federal spending budget. While public funding for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security is expected to be addressed, investors aren't sure to what extent they will be cut. Another main discussion point will be the tax rate of individuals making $250,000 or more. Oil prices gave the energy sector a boost as the cost per barrel moved back up to $107, but the impact on consumers is still a concern. On a positive note, jobs openings have increased to 3.1 million openings, reaching pre-financial crisis levels.
Major U.S. Indices
DJIA: 12,237.62 (-0.21 percent)
S&P 500: 12,237.62 (-0.27 percent)
Nasdaq: 2,748.45 (+0.13 percent)
Russell 2000: 823.17 (+0.11 percent)
In other news:
- JPMorgan Chase said profits rose 67 percent in the last quarter. Investors shrug. Shares of JPMorgan fall lower by over 1 percent. [Bloomberg]
- Republicans didn't even wait for the President's speech before coming out with their criticisms. [Fox News]
- The U.S. is dangerously close to hitting the $14.3 trillion debt limit, which could cause a default of government obligations. Here are a few ways Republicans hope to avoid it. [Reuters]
- U.S. stocks are overvalued and could be hitting a technical "double top." [Minyanville]
- If you're not looking at REITs, maybe you should be. Residential mortgage real estate investment trusts have been pretty hot as of late. [WSJ]
Check back for more news.
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