Equities Roundup: Stocks Flat After Morning Movement

Equities Editors Desk  |

Investors are once again walking a tight rope between gains and losses today after a series of weak economic data threatens to break the recent bullish momentum. A report from the Conference Board showed that consumer confidence in August plunged to the lowest levels in over two years. While the combination of high unemployment, stalled income growth, volatile stock market, political dissent regarding the national budget and resulting credit downgrade all played a part in weakening consumer sentiment. The S&P's Case/Schiller Home price index fell a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in June month-over-month, and down 4.5 percent year-over-year. Though the numbers are low, economists believe that the small dip could mean the market is stabilizing. Wall Street is also waiting on the release of the FOMC minutes later today from their meeting in August 9th, when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that interest rates will remain at low levels until 2013. The pessimistic mood in the market today helped to push gold back over $1,800 an ounce, while oil shook off some early morning jitters to rise 1.6 percent.

Major U.S. Stock Indices

DJIA: 11,509.81 (-0.26 percent)
S&P 500: 1,204.90 (-0.43 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,558.00 (-0.16 percent)
Russell 2000:
718.41 (-0.86 percent)

In other news:

  • PIMCO's Bill Gross thinks the U.S. and Europe is recession-bound while the smart money should be looking at Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, and Asia. [Bloomberg]
  • Don't look now but Research In Motion (RIMM), the Blackberry maker that many investors left for dead less than a month ago, has made quite a rebound. [Marketwatch]
  • One Fed official doesn't think the dissent from the August 9th FOMC meeting will be an issue going forward. The three opposing votes was a rare occurrence in the U.S. central bank's history. [WSJ]
  • In their quest to seek safer havens for their investments, investors may actually be looking at more complex and riskier assets like derivatives and structured notes. [Smart Money, CNN Money]
  • Higher coffee prices are putting a squeeze on coffee companies like Starbucks (SBUX) and food companies like Kraft (KFT), which look to make up the smaller margins with volume. [CNBC]

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