STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's what you need to know

The major indexes recovered much of the sharp losses they incurred in overnight futures trading after the release of China’s weak manufacturing PMI. But the lack of a decisive rally or sell off left them little changed on Wednesday.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 16,275.02, -55.45, (-0.34%)
  • S&P 500: 1,937.83, -4.91, (-0.25%)
  • Nasdaq: 4,748.24, -8.48, (-0.18%)

And now, the top stories on Wednesday:

  1. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has resigned. Last week, it emerged that the company cheated on emission tests, affecting an estimated 11 million vehicles worldwide. “I am shocked by the events of the past few days,” Winterkorn said in a statement, also accepting responsibility. “I am shocked that misconduct on such a scale was possible even in the Volkswagen group.”
  2. The flash manufacturing purchasing manager’s index from Markit was 53 for September, unchanged from the prior month at a 22-month low. The release noted that US manufacturing growth was at a two-year low and would likely be a drag on third-quarter growth. Chief economist Chris Williamson said the strong dollar and lower export demand are tapping the brakes on manufacturing.
  3. Bill Gross wants the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates immediately, for the sake of the US economy’s long-term health. “My advice to them is this: get off zero and get off quick,” Gross wrote in his latest monthly investment outlook. He said “near term pain” would include lower stock and bond prices, but there will be long term gain.
  4. US crude oil inventories fell for a second week, by 1.93 barrels to 454 million last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. The decline was more than analysts’ estimate of -0.55 million. Production rose slightly to 9.13 million barrels per day. West Texas Intermediate crude futures in New York fell more than 3% to as low as $US44.42 per barrel after the release.

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