Dow -44.13 (-0.34%)
Nasdaq +6.63 (+0.27%)
S&P 500 -0.54 (-0.04%)
News That Moved the Market
Financial Weakness Weighs Down Market. Stocks fell early in the session, as bad news from the financial sector placed heavy pressure on the major indices. Oppenheimer's Meredith Whitney continued her assault on financials, cutting estimates for Goldman Sacs (GS, -0.9%), Merrill Lynch (MER, -1.8%), Lehman Brothers (LEH, -3.6%), and Morgan Stanley (MS, -2.2%). Whitney said the outlook for these banks is "far more bleak than that reflected in the market." Ratings agency Moody's said that losses at MBIA (MBI, -5.4%) and Ambac (ABK, -7.6%) were greater than expected, making the agency question if the bond insurers have adequate capital levels to keep their Aaa ratings. After Moody's report was released, markets hit their lows, but began to recover in the early afternoon. Trading at the end of the day was range bound, as investors prepared for tomorrow's CPI report.
Consumer Shows Signs of Life. The Commerce Department reported retail sales, excluding motor vehicles, rose 0.5%, exceeding the 0.2% increase economists had expected. Wal-Mart (WMT, -2.4%) topped estimates by a penny, but provided a disappointing outlook for the next quarter, citing higher energy costs.
Icahn Mulls Proxy Fight. Shares of Yahoo (YHOO, +5.2%) received a boost after CNBC reported Carl Icahn was considering a proxy fight with Yahoo's management in an attempt to reignite merger talks with Microsoft (MSFT, -0.3%). CNBC added Icahn bought as much as 50 million shares last week.
Notable Earnings (Full List Here):
Deere (NYSE:DE) Before Open
Freddie Mac (FRE) Before Open
Macy's (NYSE:M) Before Open
Sony (NYSE:SNE) Before Open
Brocade (NASDAQ:BRCD) After Close
8:30 AM: CPI
10:30 AM: Oil Inventories