(INDEXSP:.INX) rose in the early going before selling off and
finishing down for the third consecutive day. While there wasn't an
identifiable piece of news pushing the action, the Street is
anxiously awaiting Ben Bernanke's press conference next week,
during which it is believed that he may begin to taper the monthly
$85 billion monthly bond purchasing program. The consistent
pop-and-drop action we've seen each morning this week may indicate
that traders are aggressively reducing market exposure in contrast
to what we saw earlier in the year when market participants bought
The major Asian and European indices were also in the red. Greece
was a notable decliner after
) cut the Mediterranean nation from developed country to
emerging-market status due to a failure to meet criteria regarding
securities borrowing and lending facilities, short selling, and
Elsewhere in international news, influential asset manager PIMCO
announced this morning that there is a 60% chance of a global
recession in the next three to five years.
Over in commodities, crude inventories increased by 2.5 million
barrels last week, a drastic change from the 6.7 million barrel
decrease during the week prior. Crude finished the day up 0.7% to
just of $96.
Gold reversed its three-day downward trend, finishing up 1% on the
day; bonds sold off as US Treasury yields continued their ascent.
Financial stocks were fairly weak on the day, with the
Royal Bank of Scotland Group
) dropping more than 3% after CEO Stephen Hester announced that he
will be stepping down from his position later this year. Likewise,
yoga apparel maker
Lululemon Athletica Inc
) again fell sharply on fallout from its recent announcement that
its CEO would be stepping down.
Tomorrow's Financial Outlook
The weekly jobless claims report will be released tomorrow morning
at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Initial claims are expected to come in at
US retail sales will be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT tomorrow. The
consensus month-over-month increase is 0.5%. Last month, retail
sales came in at just 0.1%. US import and export prices will also
be released tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Exports are expected to have
risen 0.1% and imports are expected to be flat.
The minutes from the latest Bank of Japan meeting will be released
tomorrow night at 7:50 p.m. EDT.