A slowing pace of sales for many companies has spurred investor worries on Wall Street, causing Standard & Poor's to suffer its biggest drop since June 24. The S&P yesterday lost 9.77 points, and all 10 sectors in the S&P fell.
- World stock markets fell today, led by a plunge in Japan's benchmark index. The Nikkei closed 4 percent lower. The sharp loss is partly attributed to a rise in the yen. South Korea's Kospi fell 1.5 percent, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 1.9 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 1.5 percent down.
- Crude prices vacillated between gains and losses today as traders waited for the U.S. Energy Department to release its latest oil supply data. Benchmark crude for September delivery was down 6 cents to $105.24 at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.26, or 1.2 percent, to close at $105.30 on Tuesday.
- The Justice Department is accusing Bank of America of civil fraud. It alleges in a lawsuit that the company failed to disclose risks and misled investors in its sale of $850 million of mortgage bonds during 2008. The suit filed in federal court in Charlotte, N.C., yesterday was against the bank and several subsidiaries. Bank of America disputes the allegations.
- Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS, has agreed to pay about $50 million to settle U.S. civil charges of misleading investors in its sale of risky mortgage bonds ahead of the 2008 financial crisis. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement yesterday with UBS Securities, the Swiss bank's investment arm. The SEC said the bank failed to disclose that it had kept $23.6 million in payments it received as it acquired collateral for the mortgage-backed securities.