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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

October 24, 2012, 5:38 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

The stock market is coming off of yesterday's steep drop. The Dow fell 243 points to 13,103. The key averages were down between 0.9 and 1.8 percent. Futures trading suggest gains this morning.

  • International stock markets were hurt by a tide of disappointing U.S. corporate earnings, but losses were cushioned by a report suggesting China's manufacturing slump may be bottoming out. Benchmark crude oil fell but remained above 86 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro but fell against the yen.
  • The Federal Reserve today wraps up a two-day policy-setting session. But it is not expected to have much new to say about monetary policy, having announced a big mortgage bond buying program at the previous meeting.
  • There's more evidence today that stalling economic growth is making it harder for eurozone countries to handle their debts. The European Union's statistics office reports the debt burden of the 17 countries that use the euro rose to 90 percent of the value of its economy at the end of the second quarter, despite efforts to scale back spending.
  • President Barack Obama says Wall Street needs to change executive pay incentives that reward risky bets that can yield fortunes but can also devastate financial institutions. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he said there still are not enough adequate means of holding risk takers in the banking industry accountable if their investment plans fail.

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