Monday Morning Business Brief
September 9, 2013, 8:52 AM
- Ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Syria are likely to again influence the markets this week. After a volatile day, stocks ended Friday mostly unchanged, The S&P 500 rose less than a point. The Dow ended down 15 points and the Nasdaq rose only one point. The only economic news expected today will be the Fed's consumer credit data report for July. Based on futures trading, US stocks appeared posed to open higher today.
- Upbeat news in Asia's two biggest economies pushed the region's stock markets higher today. European shares, however, were flat in early trading. Benchmark crude oil fell below $110 per barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and fell against the euro.
- Business forecasters are maintaining their rosy view of the U.S. economy in 2014, predicting 3 percent growth by the second quarter of next year, low inflation and improving employment. The top economists surveyed by the National Association of Business Economics also say there's an 80 percent likelihood that the pickup in growth will prompt the Federal Reserve to trim its monthly $85 billion purchases of mortgage bonds and Treasury bills next year. Economists have trimmed their expectations for the second half of 2013.
- Japan's economy expanded faster in April-June than earlier reported, according to a revised estimate showing a real annualized growth rate of 3.8 percent, thanks to higher spending on private and public investment. The stronger data make it more likely the government will go ahead with a planned sales tax increase that some economists worry could slow the recovery, but which is needed to help curb the country's massive national debt.
- China's August inflation edged down as an economic recovery gathered strength, easing pressure on communist leaders who want to focus on longer-term reforms. Consumer prices rose 2.6 percent, down from July's 2.7 percent. Food prices rose 4.7 percent, down from the previous month's 5 percent. Communist leaders are trying to nurture more self-sustaining growth driven by domestic consumption instead of trade and investment.
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