spanish austerity riot

Photo: AP Images

Market volatility picked up amid some mixed signals from the economy.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 13,457, -101.3, -0.7%
S&P 500: 1,441, -15.3, -1.0%
NASDAQ: 3,117, -43.0, -1.3%

And now the top stories:

  • After the U.S. markets closed yesterday, global economic bellwether Caterpillar shook the earth by cutting its earnings guidance for 2015. “Our goal hasn’t changed but the economy has,” said management.
  • However, more evidence suggests the U.S. housing market is recovering.  According to S&P Case-Shiller, home prices rose 1.2% year-over-year in July.  This was much higher than the 1.05% increase economists were looking for.
  • With bullish housing data mounting, the debate seems to be less about whether the housing market has bottomed. Rather, it seems to be whether it will contribute materially to economic growth.  The bulls argue that it offers the shot in the arm needed to boost consumer confidence and spending.  The bears think that housing just doesn’t contribute enough to offset all of the other global economic concerns. CITI: This Is What Will Happen To The Global Economy Through The Next Three Years >
  • In a separate report, the Conference Board said consumer confidence surged to 70.3 this month from 61.3 a month ago.  This was much higher than the 63.1 expected by economists.
  • Markets turned negative just before 1PM as images from the Spanish austerity protests started crossing.  And the selling just intensified into the close.

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