Daily Data Flow: S&P 500 Falls as Spain Seeks Bailout Funding; Retail Stocks Could be Helped by Holiday Sales; Mixed Results for Auto Industry Investors

Daily Data Flow

S&P 500 Falls After Spain Says Bailout Not Imminent (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks fell as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said a request for rescue funds is not imminent, defying market speculation that the nation was preparing to request a bailout. Treasuries rose and the euro trimmed gains. “This continues to show the fact markets remain much headline driven,” Ryan Larson, the Chicago-based head of U.S. equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc., said. Rajoy is weighing the terms of a Sept. 6 proposal by the European Central Bank president to buy bonds of cash-strapped nations, including Spain, if they make for a formal aid request from the euro region’s government-run rescue funds.


Holiday Sales Projected to Increase 4% (CNNMoney)
National Retail Federation President Matthew Shay said the projection of 4.1% growth was “the most optimistic forecast NRF has released since the recession.” “Variables including an upcoming presidential election, confusion surrounding the ‘fiscal cliff’ and concern relating to future economic growth could all combine to affect consumers’ spending plans, but overall we are optimistic that retailers’ promotions will hit the right chord with holiday shoppers.” Online sales this year are projected to increase 12% to around $96 billion.

Chrysler U.S. Sales Beat Estimates; Ford, GM Fall Short (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Ford Motor Co. (F) and Chrysler Group LLC said auto sales in the U.S. probably accelerated to the fastest pace in more than four years in September as buyers took advantage of cheap financing for new cars and trucks. “This notion of the buyer being resilient is certainly there,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president for researcher LMC Automotive. “You’ve got favorable conditions with credit available, interest rates that are extremely low. The conditions for the pocketbook are pretty favorable.” The industry selling pace was 14.5 million in August, the best since August 2009, when the U.S. government offered incentives for buyers to exchange older vehicles for new models. Zero percent financing has made it easier for potential car buyers to considering making a vehicle purchase. Ford, GM, Chrysler and Toyota have all been offering low rates during the recession.

Analysis: Uneasy Role for IMF in Euro Zone Crisis (Reuters)
The euro zone debt crisis is pushing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) into new and, at times, uncomfortable territory. The global lender is preparing to monitor some of Europe’s largest economies — possibly without its biggest weapon: money. Until the euro zone crisis erupted, most of the IMF’s bailouts focused on emerging economies in Asia and Latin America. Europe’s crisis presents a case much larger and potentially more damaging to the global economy than anything the IMF has previously overseen. The IMF’s role in this next phase of the euro zone crisis is less clear and a subject of some internal concern. European countries are some of the IMF’s biggest and most influential member countries and speaking truth to power may be challenging.

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