Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are down today following declines in Asian and European markets. Wall Street is also anticipating fourth-quarter earnings numbers from aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) after the close.
- European stock markets fell on Monday, with banks under pressure and sovereign-debt concerns in the spotlight after weekend talk that Portugal is being pressured to take a bailout. Heino Ruland, strategist at Ruland Research, said France would probably be less averse to a bailout for Portugal because it would relieve pressure on Spain, where French banks are heavily exposed. iShares S&P/Citigroup International Treasury Fund (NYSEArca: IGOV) is up slightly this morning; it has no exposure to Portugal, but France (7.1%) and Spain (4.7%) have a presence.
- Most Asian markets declined today, as concerns about monetary- and property-market tightening combined with weak cues from the United States to prompt a sell-off across various sectors. Indonesian, Chinese and Indian stocks were among the worst affected as Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. Chinese property developers suffered broad losses following mainland media reports that the city of Chongqing was set to impose a new tax on luxury property. The Vanguard Pacific Stock ETF (NYSEArca: VPL) is down about 0.5% in early trading.
- Shares of BP PLC fell more than 1.5% on Monday following the shutdown of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System after a leak was discovered at a pumping station. The suspension early Saturday of the pipeline, an 800-mile network that moves oil across the northernmost U.S. state from Prudhoe Bay to the port of Valdez, has forced oil companies to halt 95% of production from the North Slope area. The Direxion Daily Energy Bear 3X ETF (NYSEArca: ERY) is up more than 3% in early trading.
- Wall Street is awaiting the kick-off to earnings season, with aluminum giant Alcoa (NYSE: AA) kicking things off after the close as it traditionally does. Analysts are forecasting good things for the company in the fourth quarter. SPDR S&P Metals & Mining (NYSEArca: XME), however, is down 1% so far today; Alcoa is 4.2%.
Gregory A. Clay contributed to this article.