Investors are hoping the stock market reverses course today and returns to record territory. The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 index retreated yesterday after closing at record highs Tuesday. The market downturn came after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy still needed help from its stimulus program. The Dow fell 61 points, The S&P dropped eight and the Nasdaq composite was down 22 points. Futures suggest Wall Street is set to open lower this morning.
- Fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve bank will begin cutting its stimulus to the American economy sooner than expected spooked international stock markets today, driving shares down. Benchmark crude oil fell to remain below $97 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and fell against the yen.
- The weekly jobless claims number is likely to move the market today. Also, Freddie Mac will release the weekly mortgage rates. Before the bell, a number of companies will report quarterly earnings. The companies include InBev, Bayer, Lufthansa, Volkswagen, Sony, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Total and MasterCard.
- The "White House Down" flop added to earnings woes at Sony Corp. which bled red ink in the latest quarter. The entertainment and electronics giant reports a $196 million loss. The action movie's lackluster box office performance contributed to a $181 million operating loss for Sony's pictures division. Sony slashed its profit forecast for the fiscal year ending in March to 30 billion yen from 50 billion yen, due to weak sales and strong price competition.
- Six of the world's leading central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, say they will provide each other with ready supplies of their currencies on a standing basis. The action extends arrangements set up to steady the global financial system during post-2007 turbulence. Until, the currency swaps had been considered temporary measures.