MARKETS RALLY: Here's What You Need To Know

Confetti Streamers Fall From the Sky

Photo: AP/Jason DeCrow

Stocks shrugged off news that the U.S. could be downgraded by Moody’s and continued the ascent higher.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 13,323, +69.6, +0.5%
S&P 500: 1,433, +4.5, +0.3%
NASDAQ: 3,104, +0.5, +0.0%

And now the top stories:

  • Before most U.S. traders got to work, shares in Burberry had already tumbled some 18 per cent after the company warned second quarter earnings would come in on the low end of guidance. Sales at stores open for more than one year stalled during the month, weighing on results.
  • Data released at 8:30 a.m. showed the U.S. trade deficit widened from the previous month as both imports and exports declined in July. During the month, the country exported some $183.3 billion worth of goods while imports totaled $225.3 billion, for a deficit of $42.0 billion. A month earlier the deficit stood at $41.9 billion. These are the 20 big trends that will dominate the U.S. over the next decade >
  • Same-store sales at McDonald’s improved 3.7 per cent in August, slightly below expectations.  McDonald’s blamed poor performance at its restaurants in Japan and Germany, while many other developed markets continued to see strong demand. Sales in the U.S. were up 3.0 per cent.
  • Moody’s threatened to downgrade the United States ‘AAA’ rating today. “Budget negotiations during the 2013 Congressional legislative session will likely determine the direction of the US government’s Aaa rating and negative outlook,” the ratings agency said.
  • Gasoline prices increased for the tenth week following 13 weeks of decline. Prices increased by a penny during the most recent week the Energy Information Administration has data available for. Oil is in the midst of a massive repricing >
  • Mid-day Morgan Stanley and Citigroup came to an agreement to value the Smith Barney wealth management unit at $13.5 billion — a coup for Morgan as it buys Citi out from the operation. Citi said it would take a write down of at least $2.9 billion on the deal.
  • Green Mountain shares rallied today after Italian coffee firm Luigi Lavazza increased its stake in the company by 36 per cent to 10.5 million shares, or roughly 6.8 per cent of the company.
  • Near the end of the day, the U.S. Treasury said underwriters had exercised an option to purchase an additional $2.7 billion in AIG shares, cutting the government’s stake to 15.9 per cent. The announcement followed the agency’s sale of $18 billion in AIG shares that priced at $32.50 last night.

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