Stocks finished the day mixed after a volatile session, as five Fed Reserve officials commented on the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 14.47 points (+0.11%), the S&P 500 slipped 1.85 points (-0.13%), and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 6.59 points (-0.26%). Volume on the NYSE totaled 1.34 billon, as decliners took advancers 3:2.
Fed Officials spent the day giving their opinions on the market while still leaving investors unsure about what the Fed will do in eight days. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said the economy was "weathering the storm," while Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart encouraged investors to take into account the strong retail sales numbers posted Friday along with the disappointing job data. San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen said that the recent turmoil has "added to the downside risks" of the US economy, but it is not clear right now if monetary policies should be altered. Many believe that a rate cut is imminent after the Friday's job report; a cut has been fully priced in by the futures markets. The US 10-year bond price jumped 16/32, dropping the yield to 4.33%.
All sectors were flat, but some individual stocks made headlines. AMD was up 2.6% after it introduced its new microchip, Barcelona, and Apple jumped 3.8% on news that it sold its 1 millionth iPhone ahead of projections. Countrywide dropped 5.5% after it announced late Friday that it would be cutting up to 20% of its workforce and expected mortgages to fall 25% next year. Crude oil was up 79 cents to $77.49.
Tomorrow the international trade gap will be out at 8:30 AM. Based on what we heard today, investors should pay close attention to news on consumer spending, housing, and of course, the murky Fed sentiment.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, TheStreet.com, Yahoo
Commentary: Fed's Yellen: Economic Downside Has Increased Appreciably • IPhone Sales Hit 1M; Moving Toward 3G • Impact of The Jobs Number
Stocks/ETFs to watch: AAPL, AMD, CFC
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