Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images
For the first time this year, we have a notable sell-off.First, the scoreboard:
Dow: 12,780.9, -97.3, -0.7%
S&P 500: 1,343.2, -7.2, -0.5%
NASDAQ: 2,915.8, -16.0, -0.5%
And now, the top stories:
- Yesterday, we noted that the word that best described Europe’s debt crisis was “delay.” Well, we got another delay today. Earlier today, reports surfaced that EU leaders would delay part or all of the bailout funds that Greece so desperately needed. European stocks, U.S. stock futures, and the euro all sold off. Meanwhile, tensions are reportedly flaring among the European leaders.
- There were couple of readings on the U.S. economy that largely went unnoticed. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey activity index jumped to 19.5, beating economists’ estimate of just 15.0. Last month’s reading was 13.5. Manufacturers have big plans to boost capital spending.
- Industrial production in January came in flat, missing economists’ expectations for 0.7 per cent month-over-month growth. Utilities reported the biggest decline with output dropping 2.5 per cent. This was caused by the unseasonably warm winter that the U.S. continues to experience.
- The NAHB home builder confidence index jumped to 29, beating expectations for an increase to 25. This reading reflected the fifth consecutive month of gains and it’s also the highest reading in four years.
- Deere & Co., the maker of farm equipment, announced better-than-expected earnings. However, the company’s full-year earnings guidance fell short of expectations, which had some investors running for the doors.
- Proctor & Gamble announced it would sell its Pringles family of potato chips to Kellogg for $2.7 billion. Pringles had been in limbo after its planned sale to Diamond Foods fell apart.
- Shares of Apple stumbled today after recently hitting all-time highs. The move came on no obvious news. But it’s worth mentioning since it carries such tremendous weight in the Nasdaq and S&P 500, which gives it the power to move markets. In fact, there had been some chatter about rebalancing its weight in some indices.
- The minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting came out this afternoon. There wasn’t much to report. However, it’s worth noting that few Fed officials believed QE3 would become necessary.
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