Stocks are sliding lower today but have been mostly trading flat as the market may be cooling off from its recent run up. August proved to be a volatile month, and September has traditionally been the worst performing and most volatile month in the stock market. Investors may also be preparing for key payrolls reports to be released on Friday. The U.S. Labor Department announced that first-time unemployment benefits applicants fell 12,000 to 409,000 last week. In another report, the Institute for Supply Management factory said manufacturing activity slowed in August, but is still expanding. Despite data indicating a weak economy and consumer sentiment still at low levels, U.S. consumers are still spending, which is an encouraging sign as consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the nation's economy. GM (GM) and other automakers reported strong sales growth in August, and Toyota (TM) and Honda (HMC) are expected to drive more sales for the industry in the coming months as they recover from the devastating earthquake and aggressively roll out new models. Major retailers like Wal-Mart (WMT) and Costco (CSCO) are expected to experience a nice surge in sales now that Hurricane Irene has passed and Labor Day Weekend is around the corner.
Major U.S. Stock Indices
DJIA: 11,577.13 (-0.31 percent)
S&P 500: 1,213.71 (-0.41 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,563.25 (-0.62 percent)
Russell 2000: 719.02 (-1.07 percent)
In other news:
- Apple (AAPL) has long been notorious for sandbagging their own forward guidance only to crush them come time to report earnings. Analysts covering the tech and consumer giant continue to let it happen. [Bloomberg]
- How the failed AT&T (T) deal to acquire T-Mobile (DTEGY) could actually end up hurting competitors in the telecom industry in the long run. [WSJ]
- Not all stocks get hit by the September slump. Names like Google (GOOG), Nike (NKE), and Salesforce.com (CRM) march along just fine. [The Street]
- Is it too soon to say Tim Armstrong's dream for AOL (AOL) is a bust? [Fortune]
- Bank of America's (BAC) "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario. [Pro Publica]
Check back as more news develops.
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