Patti Domm is CNBC executive news editor, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy. Prior to joining CNBC in 1999 as senior news editor, Domm was the equities editor for the Americas at Reuters. She was also Wall Street editor at Reuters, reporting on mergers, acquisitions and the Street. She also edited three CNBC books on personal investing. Domm serves on the board of the Financial Womens Association of New York.
Citizen Bill Clinton just came back from Europe and he says, "It was expensive over there."I asked the former president if he were he still in the White House, would he be concerned about the weakening dollar, and he said he certainly would. "At this level, it's alright, but if it keeps falling it could become precarious," he said.
Stocks are squarely in positive ground this morning helped by a surprise comment from Wal-Mart that its earnings will be better than expected this quarter. Chain stores report monthly sales today and expectations have been low. Macy's for instance is down 2.7%, Limited was down 4%, Chico's is down 8.3% and Nordstrom cut its third quarter forecast.
A sprinkling of deal news, sinking oil prices and a firmer dollar are in the background as stocks edge higher Tuesday. The big news for markets though will come in the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes, set for release at 2 p.m. ET. The minutes of the September 18 meeting and the August 16 call will be released. Traders are watching for hints of what made the Fed take the aggressive step to slash the Fed funds rate by a half point, greater than the 1/4 point widely expected.
The Fed and the start of earnings season are two big focuses for stocks Tuesday, after Monday's dullish session. The Fed releases minutes of its September 18 meeting and its August 16 call at 2p ET. This time last week, traders would have been digging into those minutes to find any confirmation of their view that rates will be cut again at the Fed's October 31 meeting.
Stocks are taking a breather from last week's runup, trending lower in what promises to be a quiet day. The bond market is closed for Columbus Day. The dollar is firmer and oil is lower this morning. European markets are weaker and Asian stocks were mixed. South Korea closed 0.8% higher at another record, and Shanghai was up another 2.5%.
Wall Street's bull will use any excuse to run right now. Just look how stock investors turned bad news from the banks into good news for the market this past week. Then jobs data Friday sparked a massive rally just because it didn't miss expectations.
It's all about the jobs report Friday. Nothing else will matter. The talk in markets all week has been mostly about that number, and the stock market's punkish, sideways behavior Thursday reflects that uncertainty. The Dow rose just 6 points to 13,974. Nasdaq rose 5 to 2733 and S&P 500 was up 3 to 1542.
Stocks are striking a slightly positive tone as investors increasingly believe the credit crunch is being worked out. Tomorrow's jobs report for September remains a top focus. The U.S. dollar is barely changed against most currencies but slightly weaker against the euro and British pound after the European Central Bank and the Bank of England left rates unchanged this morning, as expected.
Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.
A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Sharon Epperson is CNBC's senior commodities and personal finance correspondent.
JeeYeon Park is a writer for CNBC.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC
Rick Santelli joined CNBC Business News as an on-air editor in 1999, reporting live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.
Senior Producer at CNBC's Breaking News Desk.
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