It was a shaky Wednesday for the U.S. equity markets. Early losses transformed into tepid gains by the afternoon, and by the end of the day it was just the NASDAQ that ended in the red. But all told, the markets were effectively flat.
At the close: DJIA: +0.05%, S&P 500: +0.05%, NASDAQ: -0.10%.
1) The U.S. Treasury announced that it plans to auction a total of $72 billion in securities in order to refund approximately $64 billion in securities that mature on February 15, yielding about $8 billion in new cash. The notes will be auctioned off over the course of next week.
Buried at the bottom of the Treasury’s auction announcement is a note about the current status of the debt ceiling. The note, which acknowledges the short-term suspension, urges Congress to pass a longer-term solution before the May 18 deadline. “Failure by Congress to pass a timely increase in the debt limit when the temporary suspension expires would require Treasury take certain extraordinary measures in order to provide Congress more time to act and to protect the creditworthiness of the country.”
Sound familiar? Officials said on Tuesday that they will be issuing $31 billion in debt to repay the money that it drew from retirement funds the last time the Treasury had to take “certain extraordinary measures” to provide federal financing.