Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News

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 |  Includes: AAL, ADRNY, AKH, ALL, AMBC, APOL, C, DAL, EDGR, HMC, JAVA, JPM, MER, MSFT, NVS, NWA, WFC
by: Judith Levy
Judith Levy
Seeking Alpha's flagship daily business news summary, gives you a rapid overview of the day's key financial news. It is published before 7:00 AM ET every market day and delivered to over 900,000 email subscribers.

U.S. Markets

  • Wednesday, the DJIA was down 0.28% and the S&P 500 0.56%. The Nasdaq ticked into positive ground intraday but closed down 0.95%. Crude traded near a four-week low Wednesday but rose in Asian trading Thursday after the IEA said it is maintaining its 2008 demand forecast. Gold fell 2.3% to $882.00 an ounce.
  • Mortgage application volume shot up 28.4% last week.
  • Consumer prices rose by 4.1% in 2007, their fastest since 1990, led by gasoline and food. Core inflation, which excludes those factors, rose 2.4%.
  • The Fed's Beige Book said economic growth slowed in late November and December, with "subdued holiday spending and further weakness in auto sales."
  • Homebuilders are cheering up (a little). The homebuilders' housing-market index rose to 19 this month from a downwardly revised 18 in December. A year ago, the index was 35.
  • Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to be "far more circumspect than Greenspan" on specific recommendations concerning the economy when he testifies today before the House Budget Committee.

Global Markets

  • Asia: Nikkei up 2.07%, Hang Seng up 2.72%. Both indices swung sharply during the day. Honda (NYSE:HMC) and Sharp (OTCPK:SHCAY) gained 2.9% and 2.4%, respectively. China shares listed in Hong Hong fell 6.6% as large funds scaled back positions. The yen rose against the dollar and the euro after the Fed and the European Central Bank said growth is slowing.
  • Europe: FTSE up 0.74%, DAX up 0.74%, CAC up 0.59%. British-French electronics retailer Kesa Electricals gained 7.8%, Belgian supermarket Delhaize (DEG) 4% and books-and-music chain HMV Group 14.95%.

Must-Know News for Thursday


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