28 August, 2007

Consumer Confidence Slips, Market Tumbles from Uncertainty

A second straight day of falling economic metrics gives way to a second straight day of losses for the markets. Fresh off the heels of Monday's Housing report, in which housing sales fell to a 5 year low, came this morning's Consumer Confidence metrics. The Consumer Confidence Index fell from previous month high levels of 111 to around 105 and further economic fears clouded American Markets.

Federal Reserve minutes came out also and pulled markets down further as talk centralized on the possibility of the housing slump being more prolonged than initially thought. Investors took this sentiment from the Fed as a sign to head for the door leaving the Majors (Dow, Nasdaq and S&P) down across the board about 2%.

Will this mean that the Fed will need to provide the market with the needed September interest rate cut? Investors seem to be hoping that the rate cut will come and the markets will more than likely continue in this drifting pattern till the interest rate policy is known. The Financials led the sell off today as earnings estimates are being trimmed left and right for the Investment Banks and Major Financials. Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), Bear Stearns (BSC) and Merrill Lynch (MER) all were sold off substantially today with Lehman Brothers (LEH) being the biggest victim of the selling. Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC) and Wachovia (WB) were also sold heavily showing that the dip in the financial sector was widespread.

The selling was broad across North American markets with all sectors seeing red. The Fed revealed that it had hoped the market would, in essence, fix itself but that clearly has not been the case. Now although the American economy is still in good shape, to create market stability here the Fed has really no choice but to interject again and produce an Interest Rate cut soon.

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