STOCKS GO NOWHERE, BUT INTEREST RATES SPIKE: Here's What You Need To Know

Red bull stunt racecar super marioREUTERS/Wolfgang RattayGerman three-time Red Bull Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel takes to the air during a soapbox fun race in the western German town of Herten, near Gelsenkirchen, July 14, 2013.

The stock market spent most of the afternoon in the red, and recovered most of its losses. But bonds tanked, sending interest rates higher.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 15,081.4, -30.7, -0.2%
  • S&P 500: 1,655.8, -5.4, -0.3%
  • NASDAQ: 3,602.7, -3.3, -0.0%

And now, the top stories:

  • Two economic reports came in a bit worse than expected. Housing starts climbed just 5.9% month-over-month in July to 896,000 units. Economists were looking for this number to increase to 900,000. Building permits rose 2.7% to 943,000, which was also weaker than expected.
  • The University of Michigan’s closely followed consumer confidence index unexpectedly dropped to 80.0 in August from 85.1 in July. Economists were hoping for a tick up to 85.2. The economic outlook sub-index fell to 72.9 from 76.5. “To put this in perspective — this is still a decent level by recent standards: The index averaged 81.7 in Q2, 76.7 in Q1, and 76.5 in 2012,” said UBS’s Kevin Cummins. “The modest pullback echoes the recent performance in the daily Rasmussen Consumer Index and Bloomberg consumer comfort index in early August. However, it contrasts with other timely indicators such as jobless claims, which continue to signal an improving consumer sector.”
  • The bond market saw the most volatility, with Treasury securities tanking and the 10-year yield surging to a multi-year high of 2.86%. In other news, a new statement from the U.S. Treasury showed that foreigners made their biggest monthly net sales of U.S. securities since August 2007.
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