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Stocks closed modestly lower on Friday as a drop in energy stocks and investor uncertainty ahead of next week's Fed meeting kept buyers on the sidelines. "I think you are going to see very choppy, very volatile market. That's not necessarily that bad, it gives folks like us opportunity to buy good companies at less expensive prices," said Andrew Seibert, senior portfolio manager at Stewart Capital.
The fallout in the subprime mortgage industry continues to trouble the markets, and analysts expect the issue to be at the forefront of investor concerns next week.
The dollar sank to a three-month low against a basket of currencies, weighed down by concerns the growing crisis in the U.S. subprime mortgage market could spread and curb economic growth.
Consumer inflation spurted higher in February, reflecting rising costs for gasoline and big jumps for food, while industrial output rebounded sharply, in large part because of the biggest jump in utility production in 17 years
Stocks are heading for a lower opening as snow falls on Wall Street and investors await consumer inflation data and consumer confidence numbers. Today is the quadruple witching day for the expiration of stock futures and options, but the resulting volatility may have already been played out when we saw the market take a roller coaster ride earlier this week. Asian markets were weaker overnight, and European stock markets are trading lower ahead of the New York open.
China will take steps to contain a renewed burst in bank lending and a larger-than-expected rise in the country's controversial trade surplus last month, senior officials said on Friday.
The U.S. Commerce Department is prepared to change a decades-old policy and impose countervailing duties on non-market economies like China when the facts merit, a senior official said.
Stocks closed higher amid continued volatility, reflecting guarded investor optimism ahead of next week's Fed meeting. "The mood of the market is as variable as the weather here in Manhattan, it's hot one day and cold the next. It's likely to remain that way at least through the end of the quarter," said Charles Crane, managing member with Scotsman Capital Management.
The bad news pouring out of the subprime lending industry has sparked concerns in global equities markets that the burden of bad debts will crimp lending, hurt the already weak U.S. real estate market and thereby slow down the U.S. economy and the consumer.
Higher energy costs pushed producer prices up by a bigger-than-expected 1.3% in February and there was a large drop in the number of initial jobless claims filed last week, Labor Department data on Thursday showed.
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The dollar was little changed against the euro and yen, after U.S. stock futures declined following data showing higher than expected U.S. wholesale inflation in February.
World stock markets are bouncing back after Wall Street's higher close Wednesday. Of course, those gains came after a somersault session that saw the Dow take a 200-plus-point round trip, after dipping below 12,000. Volatility is likely to stay as we head toward the expiration of options Friday. For now, futures point to a higher opening.
Asia-Pacific economies are likely to slow this year but should perform much better than was anticipated just a few months ago thanks to a pick-up in consumer spending, a Reuters poll shows.
China's industrial production growth surged at the start of the year, reinforcing expectations that Beijing will soon tighten policy afresh to prevent the world's fourth-largest economy from overheating.
Australia's employers created a solid 22,000 new jobs in February while more people were enticed into the labor force, boding well for consumer demand and economic growth this quarter.
Stocks finished higher after a wild trading session that took the Dow briefly below 12,000 and saw major indices reverse deep losses. "The markets have been wanting to go to certain levels and they took it down there and then boom, everyone came in and bought the market and we were off to the races," said Todd Leone, head of listed trading at Cowen.
The dollar turned higher against the yen Wednesday in choppy trading after U.S. stocks rallied midafternoon, reversing earlier declines.
The deficit in the broadest measure of trade set a record for the fifth consecutive year even though the imbalance in the final three months of 2006 shrank, reflecting a lower foreign oil bill. The government also reported prices of imported goods rose less in February than economists had predicted.
Wall Street's anxiety about the subprime mortgage business spread around the world overnight, ripping into stock prices globally. U.S. stocks are heading lower this morning, but so far lack signs of the wild selling of yesterday afternoon.