By David Berman
A day after the European Union ignited global stock markets with a giant financial bailout package worth nearly $1-trillion (U.S.), investors were again on edge on Tuesday.
U.S. stock index futures were down sharply with about two and a half hours before markets open, suggesting that stocks will fall at the start of trading. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were down 99 points or 0.9 per cent. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were down 14 points or 1.2 per cent.
On Monday, the indexes enjoyed their biggest one-day leaps since the start of the bull market, in March 2009, on the hopes that the bold EU moves would at last put an end to the European debt crisis. Spain's benchmark index surged more than 14 per cent, its biggest one-day move in nearly 20 years.
Now, though, the euphoria is fizzling, and markets may be in for a round in which investors question whether the debt backstop will, in fact, work and whether countries will have the proper incentives to get their financial houses in order.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's resignation has created political uncertainty in the UK. And in China, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that prices for housing and consumer goods jumped in April, putting more pressure on the need for monetary policy tightening there. Urban property prices rose 12.8 per cent year-over-year, while consumer prices rose 2.8 per cent – in both cases, significant increases over March.
In Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 was down 1.8 per cent and Germany's DAX index was down 1.2 per cent in afternoon trading. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.1 per cent in overnight trading.