Turning their collars to chilly economic headwinds, some of which suggest a brewing currency war between the dollar, the yen, and the euro, the U.S. equity markets managed to push away heavy early-morning losses to close essentially flat for the day.
At the close: DJIA: +0.05%, S&P 500: +0.05%, NASDAQ: -0.10%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed 0.21 percent to $96.84 per barrel. The weekly EIA Petroleum Status Report showed that inventories grew by 2.6 million to 371.7 million barrels, well above their average for this time of the year. Precious metals were once again mixed: the price of Gold (NYSE:GLD) rose 0.27 percent to $1,678.10 per ounce, while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 0.08 percent to $31.86 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year T-bill fell 0.037 points to 1.962 percent following the announcement of a $24 billion auction of the security next week.
The U.S. Postal Service announced that it will discontinue Saturday mail delivery starting in August. The announcement hardly comes as a surprise given the $15.9 billion net loss reported by the institution in 2012. The USPS, which receives no financial assistance from the government but is still regulated by Congress, is hoping to cut costs by as much as $2 billion per year. The move follows other cost-cutting measures, such as a 28-percent workforce reduction and the consolidation of more than 200 locations… (Read more.)
A new report from the Pew Research Center suggests that the novelty of social media may be wearing off, which could spell bad tidings for the industry that has rapidly grown around the phenomenon. The study shows that not only are more people “taking breaks” from sites such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) — suggesting that the use feels like a bad habit to some — but that many users are shopping around different platforms to find the right fit, suggesting a possible decentralization of the user base… (Read more.)