The markets were mixed today on Wall Street, as investors weighed debt-ceiling concerns against strong December retail sales numbers.
At the close: DJIA: +0.20%, S&P 500: +0.10%, NASDAQ: -0.22%.
1) What’s Worse Than Tax Hikes and an Austerity Crisis? The short answer is: the debt ceiling. Politicians have indicated that they are willing to use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip as spending cuts are negotiated on Capitol Hill. Some have even gone as far as publicly stating that a temporary shut down of the government may be in America’s future… (Read more.)
2) No surprise here: Fitch, an international credit-ratings agency, issued a press release titled: “Debt Ceiling Delay Would Prompt Formal US Rating Review.” The agency says that while the risk of default “remains extremely low,” “failure to raise the debt ceiling in a timely manner will prompt a formal review of the U.S. sovereign ratings.”
The U.S. is just one of a number of major economies facing credit pressure… (Read more.)