Winning streaks may be for sports teams, but investors on Wall Street wouldn't mind seeing a market rally today. A run of record highs came to an end yesterday as the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost ground for just the second time this month. The slight loss broke a four-day string of all-time highs. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.48 of point, or 0.02 percent, to close at 1,950.79 on a quiet day for trading. Futures point to sliding stocks this morning.
- International stock markets turned skittish today after the World Bank lowered its global growth forecast for the year and a militant takeover of a key Iraqi city raised concerns. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $104.50 a barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and inched ahead against the euro.
- The World Bank downgraded its forecast for the global economy this year, citing a bitter American winter and the political crisis in Ukraine. In an outlook released yesterday, the bank still expects the world economy to grow faster - 2.8 percent this year versus 2.4 percent in 2013. But its new estimate is weaker than the 3.2 percent expansion it had predicted in January.
- China's largest e-commerce company is making its first appearance in the U.S. with the debut of 11Main.com, an invite-only online marketplace that showcases small business retailers. Industry watchers will be paying close attention since 11 Main is owned by Alibaba, the e-commerce giant in China that filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. in May. Bigger than Amazon and eBay combined, Alibaba had no U.S. e-commerce presence until now.
- OPEC oil ministers are heading into a meeting today with apparent agreement to keep output at the current target of 30 million barrels a day. Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez says there is "consensus" among the 12-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to keep the status quo. The International Energy Agency, oil consultant to major consuming countries, sees short-term demand rising. But many OPEC members are at their production capacity limits. OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia has the ability to make up for any shortage.