After yesterday’s stunning plunge that left stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) nursing some heavy wounds, U.S. and global leaders pulled together to plead with lawmakers to pass a $700 billion bailout plan to save the financial system.
The European and Asian economies woke up to a deepened crisis today, and the global markets ended mixed. Stocks in London and Paris actually rose today, while some Asian markets sold off heavily overnight, reports Michael M. Grynbaum for the New York Times. In Tokyo, the Nikkei lost 4.1% to close at a three-year low. Australia lost 4.4% and at one point had lost more than 5%.
Russia was particularly hard-hit by the failure of the bailout, suffering such steep losses that trading was halted for two hours, reports Catrina Stewart for the Associated Press. Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on oil, and sliding prices have weighed heavily on the country.
Some analysts say that the threat to the credit markets poses more of a problem for the health of the economy than the plunge in stocks, because so many businesses use those markets to finance daily expenses such as utilities and payroll.
The U.S. dollar fell to a four-month low against the yen yesterday, as investors hightailed from risky positions, Rika Otsuka for Reuters reports. Today, however, the dollar gained 2% on renewed optimism that a bailout deal would be approved.
Financial ETFs are trading higher early today:
- Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF), down 34.7% year-to-date
- iShares Dow Jones U.S. Broker-Dealers (IAI), down 46.8% year-to-date
- PowerShares Dynamic Financials (PFI), down 18.8% year-to-date
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.