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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

August 15, 2012, 5:41 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief
  • Stocks ended little changed in the latest session. The Dow gained nearly 3 points, while the S&P was down a fraction and the Nasdaq fell more than 5 points. Futures trading suggests a lower opening today.
  • International stock markets fell today as recession among euro nations and slowing growth in China offset flickers of improvement in the U.S. economy. Benchmark crude oil fell below $93 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro but rose against the yen.
  • On today's economic calendar, the Labor Department today releases the July Consumer Price Index. The Federal Reserve releases industrial production for July, while the National Association of Home Builders reports on builder sentiment.
  • China's economic recovery is taking longer than expected. But facing a collapse in export growth and weak consumer spending, Beijing is avoiding an aggressive stimulus and sticking to a gradual strategy of small interest rate cuts and modest spending hikes. A big stimulus could set back efforts to nurture a self-sustaining expansion based on domestic consumption, reducing reliance on exports and investment.
  • Official figures show reduced unemployment in the United Kingdom. The Office for National Statistics reports the unemployment rate dropped to 8 percent from 8.2 percent in the three months to the end of June.

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