Investors are hoping the stock market's swoon will end as the trading week comes to a close. Grim sales forecasts from two major companies and concern that the Federal Reserve will soon start winding down its massive bond-buying program pummeled the market yesterday. The Dow slumped 225 points. The S&P 500 fell 24 points and the Nasdaq dropped 63. Futures trading suggests some reversal of losses this morning.
- Expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will start to phase out its monetary stimulus had a mostly negative impact on international stock markets today. Benchmark crude oil fell but remained above $107 per barrel. The dollar rose against the euro and the yen.
- There's not much market-moving news expected today. The Commerce Department will report on the pace at which builders broke ground on homes in July. Also, the Labor Department will report on second-quarter productivity data.
- Some economists predict consumers will remain reluctant to spend more freely until the economy shows stronger job and wage growth. The concern has been underscored by bleaker outlooks at retailers like Wal-Mart and Macy's. The economy is growing, but consumers are a main driver and they're being hampered by weak pay, higher taxes and tepid hiring.
- North Korea's announcement that it is mass producing a home-grown smartphone has been met with skepticism in the tech industry. The North's state media last week showed leader Kim Jong Un inspecting "Arirang" phones at a Pyongyang factory. Technology writer Martyn Williams says the phone is probably manufactured in China. North Korea has mobile phones and an Intranet but they are walled off from global networks.