Some morning readings, courtesy of Yahoo! Finance colleague Liz Trotta:
U.S. futures are pointing toward a sharply lower open, world stocks are selling off, gold is surging to new records and oil is tumbling as markets react to S&P's late-Friday downgrade of U.S. debt. Other than that, it's a beautiful Monday morning in New York, and the produce at the Union Square greenmarket is in fine form.
No major economic data releases today. Tomorrow, we get productivity, unit labor costs and the FOMC rate decision.
Judgment Calls: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Sunday night that S&P showed "terrible judgment" in lowering the U.S. government's credit rating, agreeing with (Moody's owner) Warren Buffett and Legg Mason's Bill Miller. Bill Gross said Standard & Poor's showed "spine." (Bloomberg)
The Italian Job: The European Central Bank's decision to buy billions of euros worth of Spanish and Italian bonds pushed down the two countries' borrowing costs Monday, but analysts warned that the move transfers significant risks onto the balance sheets of an institution long reluctant to move beyond its traditional role controlling inflation. (AP)
Rogers That: Britain and several euro zone countries are likely to have their credit ratings cut in coming months as debt problems worsen, and Western policymakers are bound to embark on more quantitative easing to get their economies moving, American investor Jim Rogers said on Monday. (Reuters)
Japan's Moody's Blues: * Moody's warns Japan that ineffective currency intervention would be negative for its sovereign ratings and would not help it restore its finances (Reuters)
Shades of 2008: World Markets on Edge Ahead of Monday's U.S. Open (Aaron Task, Daily Ticker)
Geithner: S&P showed terrible judgment (AP)
S&P rating downgrade: What Congress must do now. Commentary by Committee for a Resopnsible Federal Budget head Maya Macguineas (CNNMoney.com)
Oil dives under $85 after S&P downgrades U.S. debt (AP)
G-7 Seeks to Avert Collapse in World Confidence (Bloomberg)
ECB pledge gets Spain, Italy rates down (AP)