- 8:30 a.m. (All times EDT): Jobs getting better? We’ll find out this morning with the weekly report of Initial Jobless Claims. Economists expect 405,000 fresh claims, preciously close to the crucial sub-400K level. Economists believe that jobs growth will accelerate once claims drop below 400,000.
- 10 a.m., the July Philadelphia Fed Business ActivityIndex will give a regional economic snashot. Expectations are for the index to be flat, up from a -7.7 reading last month. That would cheer, modestly.
- 10 a.m., the June Index of Leading Indicators arrives. Economists expect a 0.3% increase, down from an 0.8% gain last month.
- 10 a.m., the U.S. House Price Index for May. It is expected to show a gain of 0.1%, down from last month’s 0.8% increase. Year-over-year, prices are expected to be lower.
- 10 a.m. Fed Chief Big Ben Bernanke testifying before the Senate on the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill. That should be lively.
- EU Summit on Greece.
- Pre-market: United Continental, Eli Lilly, Travelers, Fifth Third, Janus Capital, Kansas City Southern, Freeport McMoRan, PPG, Philip Morris, ITT Educational
- 6 a.m. Whirlpool, New York Times
- 7 a.m. PepsiCo
- 7:15 a.m. Morgan Stanley
- 7:30 a.m. AT&T
- 8 a.m. US Airways, Union Pacific
- 8:30 a.m. Blackstone
- 9 a.m. Alaska Air, Safeway
- 4:15 p.m. Microsoft, Advanced Micro Devices
- Europe: Nokia, Ericsson, ABB, Akzo Nobel
Today the S&P 500 appeared dazed and confused. And who could wonder why? Good earnings, news of nervous home buyers, and on-again off-again government debt maneuverings. The index closed a narrow-range day with a loss of 0.07% on extremely light volume. The index is now up 5.42% year-to-date but 2.77% below the interim high set on April 29.
From an intermediate perspective, the index is 96.0% above the March 2009 closing low and 15.3% below the nominal all-time high of October 2007.
BRUSSELS — The leaders of Germany and France agreed late Wednesday on a proposal for a rescue plan for Greece to be presented to a summit meeting of European officials on Thursday, a statement from the French president said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel with France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin, ahead of talks on Thursday in Brussels.
Details of the agreement were not disclosed, but the statement said it would include participation of Europe’s banking sector.
Released by the office of the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, the statement said he and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany had reached an agreement they presented to Herman Van Rumpuy, president of the European Council, for consideration.
The leaders of the 17 member countries of the euro zone are to meet in Brussels to try to keep the debt crisis from spiraling out of control after a week of market turbulence in which borrowing costs spiked in Italy and Spain.
Bonus: The Onion
WASHINGTON—Members of the U.S. Congress reported Wednesday they were continuing to carefully debate the issue of whether or not they should allow the country to descend into a roiling economic meltdown of historically dire proportions. “It is a question that, I think, is worthy of serious consideration: Should we take steps to avoid a crippling, decades-long depression that would lead to disastrous consequences on a worldwide scale? Or should we not do that?” asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), adding that arguments could be made for both sides, and that the debate over ensuring America’s financial solvency versus allowing the nation to default on its debt—which would torpedo stock markets, cause mortgage and interests rates to skyrocket, and decimate the value of the U.S. dollar—is “certainly a conversation worth having.” “Obviously, we don’t want to rush to consensus on whether it is or isn’t a good idea to save the American economy and all our respective livelihoods from certain peril until we’ve examined this thorny dilemma from every angle. And if we’re still discussing this matter on Aug. 2, well, then, so be it.” At press time, President Obama said he personally believed the country should not be economically ruined.