Volatility seems to be the theme on Wall Street today as stocks opened lower, shot up, and then fell lower again as investors remain undecided on how to play the current economic landscape. The European Union's financial predicament has weighed on stocks, but so has a consistent stream of negative economy reports and forecast cuts by financial firms. JPMorgan (JPM) is the latest to cut the U.S. economy's growth estimates and warn of a possible recession. Morgan Stanley (MS), Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs (GS) both reduced their outlook earlier this week. The biggest loser today seems to be Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which saw shares fall as much as 20 percent after the company announced a spin-off of its PC business and a $10.3 billion acquisition of Autonomy Corp. to focus on enterprise businesses. HP is the largest PC maker on the market, ahead of both Dell (DELL) and Apple (AAPL), but aside from Apple, most companies in the space have seen sales shrink over the last year. Oil prices have recovered 1 percent from yesterday's drop off. Meanwhile, the fear of recession and inflation growth continues to push gold prices into record levels. Gold is currently trading at around $1,855, but bullish experts are already eyeing past the $2,000 level.
Major U.S. Stock Indices
DJIA: 10,963.64 (-0.25 percent)
S&P 500: 1,140.71 (0.00 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,384.11 (+0.15 percent)
Russell 2000: 664.59 (+2.10 percent)
In other news:
- Vice President Joe Biden went to China to reassure confidence on U.S. debt. [Reuters]
- Treasuries have had quite a run since being downgraded from AAA. [Bloomberg]
- There seems to be a disconnect between bearish Wall Street economists and the U.S. Federal Reserve. Is the Fed just out of bullets or do they really think the economy will be fine? [The Street]
- Barnes & Noble (BKS) got a $204 million investment from Liberty Media Corp., so why are shares down 16 percent today? [WSJ]
- A recent study shows that investors that sold their stocks at the bottom of the 2008-09 recession and didn't buy back in until after the rebound, performed worse than those who held onto their stocks through that period. [CNBC]
Check back for more news.
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