Markets closed down on Wall Street today: Dow -0.51%, S&P -0.63%, Nasdaq -0.44%, Oil +0.44%, Gold -0.41%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed to $94.48 a barrel. Precious metals were down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,757.90 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 1.04% to settle at $34.14.
Today’s markets were down because:
1) G-20. Global stocks moved downward today after the Group of 20 nations failed to agree on increasing the resources of the International Monetary Fund, a move that European governments had hoped would allow them to tap more foreign aid to help in crisis-fighting efforts.
2) Jobs. Though U.S. employment rose less than expected in October, when coupled with upward revisions to prior months’ job gains, it was enough to effect a drop in the unemployment rate, which last month reached a six-month low of 9.0%. Today’s Labor Department report suggests that the economy is gaining momentum, and that there is underlying strength in the labor market. However, Europe’s debt crisis still threatens to derail the recovery, riling global financial markets and pushing consumer confidence to recessionary levels. Furthermore, the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its projections for unemployment in 2012.
3) Banks. Following a tumble in European lenders, American banks slumped. Even as the indexes slowly recovered after a sharp drop early in the day, banks stayed lower. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) saw its share price fall more than 6% after disclosing that it would convert debt into more equity. Citigroup (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) also fell.