The major U.S. stock indices are down in mid-day trading today as lawmakers debate a government shutdown and another earthquake in Japan rattles the stock market. The 7.4 magnitude quake off the northeast coast of the world's third largest economy comes less than a month after the devastation of an 8.8 magnitude seismic shock that resulted in a catastrophic tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis. Wall Street and the rest of the global community had already been anxiously watching Japan's recovery, and concerns about the potential setback this may present certainly weighed down the markets today. Elsewhere around the world, the European Central Bank raised key interest rate for refinances 0.25 percent to 1.25 percent. China also recently raised its key interest rates as well. Central banks around the world have the tough task of balancing their economies between stimulating growth for recovery and curbing inflation. All this in the face of rising commodity prices for essentials like metals, minerals and especially oil.
Major U.S. Stock Indices
DJIA: 12,370.40 (-0.45 percent)
S&P 500: 1,330.61 (-0.37 percent)
Nasdaq: 2,794.89 (-0.20 percent)
Russell 2000: 852.24 (-0.23 percent)
In other news:
- Major companies like McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTL) have been hiring, says McDonald's USA president. [Marketwatch]
- On the flip side, as the current spending bill is set to expire tomorrow, 800,000 federal workers await their fate. Regardless of what happens, the top decision makers will still be collecting their paychecks. [Bloomberg]
- Could a government shutdown actually be good for the market? [The Street]
- Major dot com investors in the 1990s are back for seconds. But wait, it's different this time around. [NY Times]
- Investor sentiment poll shows bears heading into hibernation. [CNBC]
Check back as more news develops.
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