Stocks suffered their seventh drop in eight trading days Monday. The latest weakness came after a report showing that retail sales are continuing to suffer. The Dow lost 50 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,727. The S&P dropped 3 points to 1,354. And the Nasdaq shed nearly 12 points to 2,897. The Commerce Department said that retail sales fell 0.5 percent in June. Futures trading suggests gains this morning.
- International stock markets rose today as optimism China and the United States might take new steps to stimulate growth offset weak U.S. data and the IMF's gloomier outlook for world growth. Benchmark crude oil rose and remained above $88 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen but fell against the euro.
- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke today speaks before the Senate Banking Committee. His testimony will be watched closely for indications whether the central bank is any closer to taking new steps to help the sagging economy. Also today, the Fed releases June industrial production. The Labor Department has the June Consumer Price Index. And the National Association of Home Builders releases its index of builder sentiment.
- An analysis released today says automatic cuts in federal spending will cost the economy more than 2 million jobs if Congress fails to resolve the looming budget crisis. The study, obtained by The Associated Press shows job losses likely from defense contracting to border security to education.
- A Senate investigation blames lax controls at Europe's largest bank and a failure to act by U.S. regulators for the laundering of billions of dollars of Mexican drug cartel money through HSBC's U.S. operations. The report says U.S. regulators knew the bank had a poor system to detect problems. HSBC executives brushed off complaints from other bank employees, so that the problems persisted for eight years.