Dow -112.10 (-0.88%)
Nasdaq -22.21 (-0.94%)
S&P 500 -12.34 (-0.89%)
News That Moved the Market
GDP and Initial Job Claims Disappoints. The markets began the day lower off worse than expected economic data and never recovered. Before the bell, the preliminary GDP reading was released, coming in at 0.6%, slightly less than economists' expectations. The figure matched the initial estimates from last month. Additionally, initial job claims increased to 373,000 which was above forecasts. Combined with the data from the last couple days, things are beginning to look bleak. "We have absolutely no momentum going into the first quarter,'' said Josh Shapiro, chief U.S. at Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc. "Things are looking pretty grim for the economy. If we're not in a recession already, we're very close."
Bernanke Speaks, Market Drops. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke appeared before the Senate Finance Committee today and yet again caused a sell-off. Bernanke, while answering questions, said he thought the current economic environment was more challenging than the 2001 recession and believed oil would remain high. The markets noticeably sold off when he said some small U.S. banks may fail, though he said he believed larger banks would be able to survive.
Dell Misses Analysts' Targets. Dell (DELL, +0.5% day; -1.3% A.H.) reported a drop in fourth-quarter earnings after the bell. Net income fell 6%, while sales increased 10%; both the top and bottom-lines missed analysts' forecasts.
Sprint Falls On Unlimited Plan Offer. Sprint (S, -9.6%) jumped into the wireless price war by offering unlimited voice calls, data, and Web surfing for $99.99/month. The company reported a $29.5 billion loss after taking a enormous charge related to its acquisition of Nextel Communications. It also suspended its dividend.
Notable Earnings (Full List Here):
8:30 AM: Personal Income
8:30 AM: Personal Spending
9:45 AM: Chicago PMI
10:00 AM: Consumer Sentiment