Concerns about Europe Contribute to S&P’s Biggest Fall This Year (Bloomberg)
Fears of further worsening of the European debt crisis, as well as an increase in American factory orders which fell short of predictions, caused U.S. stocks to fall, sending the S&P 500 down 1.2%, its biggest decline since Nov. 14. “There’s some profit-taking happening,” Matthew Swaim, a fund manager at Chicago-based Advisory Research Inc., said. “People are drawing a corollary to the last couple years where in the spring Europe started taking the limelight again and that caused a drop in our markets.”
Rising Fuel Prices Hurt Consumers (CNBC)
Fuel prices are currently at the highest point on record for early February, and gas prices, and consequent consumer spending, are expected to rise more this year than in 2012. Last year itself had the highest per-household spending on gas in almost 30 years, with the exception of 2008.
Gold up for Second Straight Session (MarketWatch)
Gold futures rose today, as investors were attracted to the precious metal’s qualities as a safe-haven asset as the drop in U.S. equities offset the strength of the dollar. A predicted rise in Chinese demand and Spanish turmoil also contributed to the rise. “We remain positive on bullion but see resistance near the psychological $1,700 an ounce level,” an HSBC metal analysts said.