Low trading volume was the story again. Everyone's still on vacation.
First, the scoreboard:
And now, the top stories:
- Europe made some noise this morning when the yield on the Italian 10-year note went north of 7.12% this morning, before coming down to 6.99%. This is ahead of a big bond sale on Thursday. European markets closed mixed with Italy's FTSE-MIB closing down 1% and London's FTSE 100 closing up 1% German, French, and Spanish stocks basically closed flat. Here Are The 11 Best Performing Stock Markets Of The Year >
- The Case-Shiller 20-city home price index fell 3.4% year-over-year, which was worse than the 3.2% decline economists had expected. Only two cities posted gains during that period: Detroit and Washington. Month-over-month, the 20-city index fell 0.7% on a seasonally-adjusted basis.
- Consumer confidence jumped to 64.5, up from 55.2 a month ago. Economists were expecting an increase to 58.9. This is an eight-month high for the Conference Board's sentiment measure. Those surveyed also mentioned that the outlook for jobs seemed to be improving.
- Crude oil prices went north of $100 as Iran warned that it would block the Strait of Hormuz if sanctions against its own oil exports were enforced. Here Are 10 Quotes From The Always Charming Commodities Guru Jim Rogers >
- Sears Holdings announced it was closing 100 to 120 of its Sears and Kmart stores, which amounts to around 3% of its store count. The stock plunged 27.2%. Comparable store sales performance has been weak all year. Management expects to recognize non-cash charges of $1.6 to $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter. Whirlpool, a major vendor to Sears, also saw its shares tank 8.9%.
- Over the weekend, Mead Johnson Nutrition said it tested its Enfamil newborn formula and found no bacteria. The stock rallied 5.8% today. Last week, major retailers pulled the product from its shelves after a 10-day old baby's death was attributed to the formula.
- The Department of Justice issued a new opinion on the Wire Act, a law meant to prohibit gambling via telecommunications across state lines. The new opinion says this only applies to sports betting, which may open the door for the legalization of other forms of online gambling. International Game Technology jumped 5% on the news, making it one of the strongest performers in the S&P 500.
- Don't Miss: 16 Of Wall Street's Sharpest Minds Predict Where Stocks Are Headed In 2012 >
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