STOCKS FALL: Here's What You Need To Know

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Photo: Flickr/Schittke

Markets got hit by some disappointing economic data today.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 13,437, -48.8, -0.3%
S&P 500: 1,440, -6.4, -0.4%
NASDAQ: 3,116, -20.3, -0.6%

And now the top stories:

  • Overall, U.S. economic data was uninspiring today.
  • Personal income climbed by just 0.1 per cent in August, which was weaker than the 0.2 per cent expected by economists.  Spending, however, jumped by 0.5 per cent.  In other words, consumers are saving less than expected.
  • Chicago’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) unexpected fell to 49.7 from 53.0 in August.  Economists were expecting the measure to slip to just 52.8.  A reading below 50 signals contraction and this was the first sub-50 reading since September 2009.
  • The University of Michigan’s Consumer Confidence index came in at 78.3, which was slightly below the 79.0 expected. CHARTS: Every Bullish And Bearish Trend In The Stock Market Right Now >
  • The big news of the day was certainly the Spanish bank stress test.  According to consulting firm Oliver Wyman, which conducted the test, the capital shortfall came in at 60 billion euros.  This was right in line with expectations.
  • The fact that the stress test results weren’t worse may have helped the euro jump and send stocks off of their lows of the day.
  • Today also may have been a major turning point for China. Two big headlines crossed from this morning: 1) China announced a schedule for its leadership transition and 2) the Communist Party of China booted disgraced former leader Bo Xilai. “Simply put, the dust finally settled on new leadership,” wrote Bank of America’s Ting Lu. “These decisions will significantly reduce the political and economic risks perceived by both onshore and offshore investors. Note rumours about political infighting have significantly disturbed markets so far this year.”
  • Don’t Miss: DEUTSCHE BANK: These Are The 29 Best Stocks Right Now >

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