CNBC's Domm: Today's Agenda in the Markets

Wall Street is heading for a down day after China's move to cool its overheated stock market with a tax hike drove Shanghai shares down 6.5% and pulled the floor out of stock buying around the world. Asian markets closed lower and European stocks are down across the continent. Some buyers appear to be moving into U.S. Treasurys where rates are slipping this morning.

The Federal Open Market Committee's latest meeting minutes will be a focus for markets when they are released at 2 pm New York time today.

The World Bank, meanwhile, revised its growth forecast for China sharply higher. Moody's Investors Service also upgraded the country's credit rating.

New World Bank Head

The White House today picks Robert Zoellick, a Goldman, Sachs executive and former U.S. trade representative and State Department official to replace Paul Wolfowitz as World Bank president.

Housing Affordability

Diana Olick today will report on the National Association of Realtor's Housing Affordability Index and also the move by Pulte Homes to chop 16% of its workforce. Mortgage applications last week were reported to be lower by the Mortgage Bankers Association, but interest rates were not. The group said interest rates for home loans are at a seven-month high but still below year ago levels.

Tech in Focus

Our Jim Goldman will be reporting live from the Wall Street Journal-sponsored "D: All Things Digital" conference in Carlsbad, Calif., where he will be speaking with Cisco CEO John Chambers and Palm CEO Ed Colligan. The highlight of the show comes tonight when old rivals, Apple's Steve Jobs and Microsoft's Bill Gates, appear on stage together at the event.

Meanwhile, Microsoft and Apple will be dueling in the stock market today as investors consider Microsoft's interesting new computer and Apple's juicy new price target from Morgan Stanley. Morgan raised Apple's target to $150 from $110.

Microsoft today will unveil a new computer at the conference, which is designed like a table with a touch screen. The new system is called Surface and is aimed initially for use in hotels and casinos. It would allow users to buy tickets to events, retrieve and display photos and play games. It is several years away from becoming a consumer product.

Morgan Stanley today talked about Apple's operating leverage and expects margins to improve because of Apple's ability to limit its expenses and due to profit from products sold through retail stores.

Oil Slick

Oil prices are slightly lower this morning after yesterday's 3.1% drop in oil to $63.15 per barrel and 4.4% slide in gasoline to $2.2979 per gallon in the futures market.

Exxon Mobil's annual meeting is today, and we will take a look at the company and the issues it faces from high gasoline prices. The meeting is sure to attract plenty of protesters who complain about high prices at the pump among other concerns. Shareholder proposals focus on executive pay and environmental issues. Our Mary Thompson will be there.

Bullishness Slips

Investor's Intelligence poll sees a slight decline in bullish sentiment this week to 53.8% from 54.3%. Bearish sentiment meanwhile rose 21.5% from 20.7%.


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