Equities Roundup: Stocks Stay Positive But Pare Earlier Gains

Equities Editors Desk  |

Stocks opened higher today but have since taken most of the gains off the table as investors are split between the market and economy's bearish outlook and attractive valuation opportunities in quality stocks. The biggest worry right now still seems to be deteriorating situation in the European Union's financial crisis. U.S. bank stocks once again led losers. Investor and consumer confidence that the U.S. can avoid another recession seems to be waning quickly, even despite any hard economic data that confirms one. Wall Street will be keeping a close eye on Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke this week as the Fed is expected to make a speech on Friday. If the markets fall any further this week, the expectations are that the Fed will have to act fast, either with another round of quantitative easing or some new stimulus strategy. The problem is that Fed officials seem to be growing tired of excessive stimulus plans as witnessed by the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting. In the mean time, gold prices are edging towards $1,900, and perhaps could be well on its way to breaking 2,000 for the first time in history. Oil prices have also gained 1 percent today to trade around $83 a barrel.

Major U.S. Stock Indices

DJIA: 10,923.72 (+1.08 percent)
S&P 500: 1,133.29 (+0.89 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,363.70 (+0.93 percent)
Russell 2000: 657.08 (+0.83 percent)

In other news:

  • If Wall Street economists are cutting estimates for economic growth, why aren't analysts changing their estimates for earnings? [NY Times]
  • Famed investor Carl Icahn made over $100 million by betting over $2 billion against the S&P 500 last week. [Bloomberg]
  • Gold is overbought, and should see a major drop in the near future. Then again, the precious metal has been seeing bearish calls like that when it was trading at $1,200 an ounce. [Bloomberg]
  • If you can't beat them, join them. Toyota (TM) and Ford (F) are teaming up to develop more fuel-efficient SUVs and pick-up trucks. [WSJ]
  • Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is expected to get his charges of sexual assault dropped. [The Street]


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