Markets are starting the week in the red.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 17,172.7, -106.9, (-0.6%)
  • S&P 500: 1,994.3, -16.0, (-0.8%)
  • Nasdaq: 4,527.6, -52.1, (-1.1%)

And now, the top stories on Friday:

1. For traders, September 22 is one of those days with a notorious history. UBS’s Art Cashin notes that September 22 marked various market highs in 1873, 1929, 1980, and even as recent as 2008. “If that’s not enough, several of the astrological types claim their charts show [this] week is fertile ground for surprises — geo-political and otherwise,” Cashin said. “Crazy? Maybe, but forewarned is forearmed.”

2. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba exploded higher on Friday on its IPO. Today, the $US230 billion company fell 4.4%. The biggest loser in the S&P 500 today was Yahoo, which is a big investor of Alibaba. Yahoo shares fell 5.5% today.

3. The pace of existing home sales unexpectedly fell 1.8% to an annualized rate of 5.05 million. Economists estimated sales would climb to a 5.20 million pace. “There was a marked decline in all-cash sales from investors,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. “On the positive side, first-time buyers have a better chance of purchasing a home now that bidding wars are receding and supply constraints have significantly eased in many parts of the country.”

4. The big news of the day arguable occured in London where UK-based grocery chain Tesco revealed a $US408 million error in its first half profits. Tesco is the second biggest retailer in the world. The stock fell 11.6% today.

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