The Federal Reserve's decision to keep its huge stimulus program in place had investors cheering last week. But that enthusiasm has given way to fretting about the economy's strength. Throw in the potential for another Capitol Hill budget fight, and stocks are on a three day losing streak. The Dow slid 50 points to close at 15,401. The S&P 500 dropped eight points to 1,701, and the Nasdaq lost nine, finishing at 3,765. Wall Street futures have been mixed this morning
- Uncertainty about the U.S. Federal Reserve's next step and the potential for a budget showdown in Washington kept International stock markets in check today. Asian stocks were mostly lower. European stocks rose in early trading. Benchmark crude oil fell but remained above $103 per barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and was little changed against the euro.
- Home prices and consumer confidence are the subject of today's economic reports. First up is the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for July. Economists expect to see the price gains slow to single digits in the coming months, which they see as a more sustainable pace than the recent string of double-digit gains. Later this morning, the Conference Board releases its September consumer confidence index.
- South Korea says it has rejected Boeing Co.'s bid to build and supply 60 new fighter jets - even though it was the sole contender in the bidding process. A Defense Ministry spokesman says South Korea has decided to delay naming a winning bidder for the $7.7 billion weapons purchase. South Korean critics say Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle lacks state-of-the-art stealth capabilities and cannot effectively cope with North Korea's increasing nuclear threats.
- An administrative judge has ordered Bank of America to pay more than $2 million to 1,100 black job applicants to settle a discrimination case dating back to 1993. The Labor Department says the Charlotte-based bank applied unfair and inconsistent selection criteria, leading to the rejection of qualified black applicants for teller and entry-level clerical and administrative positions.
- TD Bank is paying $52.5 million to settle civil charges relating to a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme. Federal regulators accused the bank of failing to report suspicious activity in accounts of a former Florida lawyer linked to the scheme who is now serving a 50-year prison sentence in the case. The Securities and Exchange Commission said the bank deceived investors by saying that it had restricted lawyer's transfers of money in the accounts.
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