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Monday Morning Business Brief

August 4, 2014, 5:46 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

There's a big question waiting to be answered today on Wall Street: Will investors step in to buy stocks after a major fall in the market last week, its worst week in two years? The S&P 500 fell 2.7 percent. The broad index lost 5 ½ points to close at 1,925 on Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 70 points to 16,493 and the Nasdaq was down 17 points to 4,352.

  • The U.S. government has no major economic reports on today's schedule, but Friday's healthy jobs report has been helping boost world stock markets. However, the gains are tempered by jitters over Argentina's debt default and a Portuguese bank bailout. Benchmark indexes in France, Germany and Britain are all showing modest gains. In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite registered the biggest gain, jumping 1.7 percent. Most of other Asian indexes were higher, but Tokyo's Nikkei and Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 edged lower.
  • The dollar is down slightly against the yen and the euro. Benchmark U.S. crude for September delivery was trading above $98 a barrel at last check, up more than 20 cents.
  • Portuguese authorities are providing $6.6 billion in an emergency rescue to prevent the collapse of Banco Espirito Santo. The ailing bank is one of Portugal's oldest and biggest financial institutions. A Bank of Portugal governor says the Banco Espirito Santo's healthy businesses will be spun off and its toxic assets will be placed in a so-called "bad bank." The bank's share price lost around 75 percent of its value last week after it reported record losses.
  • Walmart is following Amazon's lead and trying to personalize the online shopping experience of its customer. A new feature will show shoppers more products that they may like, based on their previous purchases. It also will customize Walmart's home page based on where each shopper lives, showing local weather and events.

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