Markets closed down on Wall Street: Dow -0.66%, S&P -0.65%, Nasdaq -0.67%, Oil +0.44%, Gold +0.28%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) is up to $94.55 a barrel as it becomes clear that there is likely to be a shortage in the months to come. Precious metals were both up with Gold (NYSE:GLD) closing at $1,550.80 and Silver (NYSE:SLV) rising 0.10% to $36.42.
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Today’s markets were down because:
1) Good news from Greece? Step one, vote of confidence for Prime Minister George Papandreou. Check. First positive news of the day. Step two, austerity measures passed. Check. Papandreou’s cabinet needed to win the vote today if they wanted to proceed with plans for an austerity package that would be necessary in order to ensure the next tranche of aid money from the EU and IMF. That aid money is the only thing that seems to be standing in between Greece and default, and now that it seems likely the new measures will stick, though they’re subject for review until they become official next month, default is looking less and likely, allowing the world to breathe a collective sigh of relief.
2) FedEx Earnings. FedEx (NYSE:FDX) had a positive quarterly earnings report despite the increasing cost of fuel. To offset transportation costs, the delivery service capped the size of their fleets, raised fuel surcharges, and just generally raised prices. The pricing increase could have lost FedEx some customers, but with the expansion of global trade, customers ultimately accepted the higher price tag and absorbed the costs. On another note, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have leaked info about their new iPhone 5, slated for September release. Until today, Apple had not mentioned a possible release date or new features on the phone. It seems likely to be a strategy to keep the stock from continuing to plummet as it has done since an unimpressive WWDC earlier this month. Don’t Miss: Did Apple Leak the iPhone 5 to Boost Falling Stock Prices?
3) Bernanke is a downer. It seems every time the man speaks, markets fall. Markets started the day in negative territory but were making modest gains before Bernanke’s news conference this afternoon. Bernanke spoke of the weakness of the financial sector, the weakness of the housing market, and then after his speech, the Fed downgraded their assessment of the economy and gave no indication of plans to boost growth or create jobs. So all in all, the afternoon was a bit of a downer, pulling the major indices into negative territory.