Ukraine's team perform in the synchronised swimming team technical final during the World Swimming Championships at the Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona, July 22, 2013.
The markets kicked off an extremely busy week with a modestly downward move.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 15,521.9, -36.8, -0.3 %
- S&P 500: 1,685.3, -6.3, -0.3%
- NASDAQ: 3,599.1, -14.0, -0.3%
And now, the top stories:
- Pending home sales fell by just 0.4% month-over-month in June, according to the National Association of Realtors. This was a more modest decline than the 1.0% drop expected by economists. "Mortgage interest rates began to rise in May, taking some of the momentum out of contract activity in June," said the NAR's Lawrence Yun. "The persistent lack of inventory also is contributing to lower contract signings."
- The Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey index unexpectedly slipped to 4.4 in July from 6.5 in June. Economists were looking for a reading of 7.5.
- While the economic numbers have generally been trending higher since the financial crisis, casino mogul Steve Wynn isn't buying it. " I think we're having a limp-wristed sort of crawl out of a hole," said Wynn on his company's earnings call this morning. "But a recovery is a more robust word, and I don't see it in the country as clearly as the politicians do who are trying to sell it to the people. I think most if it is baloney. I think real inflation is way north of 10[%], everybody's dollar is going down, buying power and living standards is going backward for the working people of America, and that's taking a toll on what you would call a recovery. So I don't see it myself."
- In a letter to Saudi oil minister Ali al Naimi, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal warned that the development of hyraulic fracturing (i.e. fracking) threatened the kingdom's oil export-driven economy. "Our country is facing a threat with the continuation of its near-complete reliance on oil, especially as 92% of the budget for this year depends on oil," he said according to a Sky News translation. "It is necessary to diversify sources of revenue, establish a clear vision for that and start implementing it immediately."
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