A gaggle of bank CEOs took to Capitol Hill this morning to discuss the 2008 financial crisis and recent decisions made in the sector. As the testimony continued, stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) were mixed.

Wall Street executives stated that they underestimated the 2008 financial crisis and apologized for “risky behavior” and “poor decisions.” But the executives also defended their bonus practices, reports the Associated Press. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is in the midst of a yearlong examination of banks’ practices. Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) is flat so far today. [What the yield curve means.]

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) threatened to pull out of China, citing massive security attacks and attempts to gain access to Gmail accounts of dissidents and human rights activists, reports Miguel Helft for The New York Times. Unlike here, Google in China is small and lags behind the Baidu, a home-grown search engine. But Helft points out the Google and other companies disillusioned with China’s practices have a lot to lose by abandoning its fast-growing technology market. iShares S&P Global Technology (NYSEArca: IXN) is flat this morning. [Technology ETFs get power from consumers.]

Rising inventories are being eyed as oil prices fall close to $80 a barrel. Since Jan. 6, in fact, oil has dropped $3 a barrel. Industry group API reported a 1.2-million-barrel increase for the week ending Jan. 8, as well as a 6.8-million-barrel jump in gasoline inventories, reports Brian Baskin for The Wall Street Journal. United States Oil (NYSEArca: USO) is down about 1.5% this morning. [12 ETFs to play 10 economic surprises.]

The Federal Reserve’s “beige book” was released today, but there were few signs of a turning point in the central bank’s interest rate policy. The report gathers anecdotal reports from the Fed’s 12 districts. While the book shows growth overall, the report isn’t enough to convince watchers that the Feds will be raising rates anytime soon.

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.

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