Photo: Ibrahim Iujaz on Flickr
2012 has yet to see a major market sell-off.First, the scoreboard:
Dow: 12,962.8, -14.7, -0.1%
S&P 500: 1,364.3, -5.3, -0.3%
NASDAQ: 2,950.4, -25.7, -0.8%
And now, the top stories:
- Despite the resilience of this bull run, economists and strategists are increasingly sounding their alarms. Marc Faber, the publisher of the Gloom Boom & Doom Report, told CNBC that he sees a correction coming soon. Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs Asset Management is getting increasingly worried about the impact of high oil prices. John Hussman thinks this is one of the worst times to invest in history.
- On the bright side, Robert Shiller, the legendary predictor of bubbles, doesn’t see a bubble in stocks. In a recent interview with the AP, Shiller said stocks are his favourite asset class for the next decade.
- China’s official 2012 GDP growth target is out. And the magic number is 7.5 per cent. That’s down from 8 per cent last year. The target is in line with economists’ expectations, and it’s above what most people would consider a hard landing. Global markets didn’t move markedly on the news.
- The eurozone’s PMI services indices were published earlier today, and the print was ugly. The composite number fell to 49.3 from 50.4 in January. This missed economists’ estimate of 49.7. One of the ugliest moves came from Spain, whose services PMI number plunged to 41.9 in February from 46 in January. Any reading below 50 signals contraction.
- India announced a ban on cotton exports, which sent the commodity’s price surging. India’s officials did not offer a clear explanation for the ban. The country’s textile industry has already been struggling to compete amid high prices. Here’s A Look At Everything Priced In Gold >
- U.S. economic data came in favourably. January factory orders declined by just 1.0 per cent to $462.6 billion. Economists were looking for a 1.5 per cent decline. Transportation equipment orders jumped 6 per cent during the period.
- The ISM non-manufacturing index unexpectedly jumped to 57.3 from 56.8 in January. Economists were expecting the metric to fall to to 56.0. However, there was one disappointing aspect of the ISM’s report: the employment index fell to 55.7 from 57.4. Don’t forget, the BLS’s February employment situation report will be released this Friday.
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