Investor uneasiness over mixed economic indicators and the plans of the Federal Reserve have put a damper on stock trading. Whether things will pick up when the market opens today is uncertain. Yesterday, the Dow closed down 66 points. And the S&P 500 index fell four points. But the Nasdaq composite edged up three points. Based on futures trading Wall Street appears headed for a muted session today.
- International stock markets fell today, dragged down by fears that political gridlock in Washington over the federal budget might partially shut down the U.S. government. Benchmark crude oil rose to remain above $103 per barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and the euro.
- Among the major economic indicators due out later this morning is the report on durable goods for August from the Commerce Department. That agency also will release new home sales for August. Investors will be looking for something to get excited about after yesterday's report showing that consumer confidence has slipped.
- A poll out today suggests validity to concerns by New Jersey officials who worried that visitors would stay away from the shore in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. The Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press poll finds that nearly 40 percent of respondents spent less time at the Jersey shore than usual this summer, with many concerned that businesses had not reopened.
- The European economic recovery is breathing life into what has long been a moribund market for initial public offerings, according to consultancy firm Ernst & Young. In its quarterly update, published today, Ernst & Young said it expects Europe to see more mid-sized and large companies deciding to list their shares on stock exchanges, particularly in the more mature economies of the U.K. and Germany. Companies have been wary of listing their stock during the financial crisis.