Photo: sergeant killroy on Flickr
Stocks were a bit volatile. After the FOMC minutes came out, they fell. Unfortunately, a rally in the last hour of trading could bring stocks out of the red.First the scoreboard:
Dow: 12,604, -48.5, -0.3%
S&P 500: 1,341, -0.0, -0.0%
NASDAQ: 2,887, -14.3, -0.4%
And now the top stories:
- The government released three reports today.
- The May U.S. trade balance report showed that the trade deficit narrowed to $48.7 billion. This was right in line with the $48.6 billion that analysts were looking for. Technically, a trade deficit subtracts from GDP. See The History Of The Asian Economy Like You’ve Never Seen It Before >
- Corn prices spiked then sank following a USDA report showing that corn crop yield estimates were slashed by 20 bushels to 146 bushels per acre. Farmers have been struggling to keep the grain alive during these drought-like conditions. SEE ALSO: MORGAN STANLEY: This Is What 14 Key Commodities Will Do This Year And Next Year >
- The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting were published at 2:00 PM EST today. There was nothing too exciting. “A few members expressed the view that further policy stimulus likely would be necessary to promote satisfactory growth in employment and to ensure that the inflation rate would be at the Committee’s goal.” SEE ALSO: Richard Russell Says ‘Ben Bernanke Is No Jesus’ >
- While on the subject of the Fed, the NY Fed’s Liberty Street Economics blog published a study titled Pre-FOMC Announcement Drift showing that almost all of the money in the market can be made using a Fed frontrunning strategy.
- There wasn’t too much other news worth mentioning. But the economists, market experts, and bloggers sounded off in full force. Noted blogger Mish Shedlock presented his comprehensive case that a recession was already here. However, Shedlock is sticking to the NBER’s definition of a recession, which can occur even when GDP is growing.
- The most notable economist to speak out today was Deutsche Bank’s Joe LaVorgna. Consistently a bull, LaVorgna surprised many by slashing his Q2 GDP growth estimate from 2.4 per cent to 1.4 per cent. “Recent economic news highlighting weaker inventory stocking as well as softer international trade have caused us to cut our forecast,” wrote LaVorgna.
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