World Markets Mixed Awaiting Fallout from U.S.-Syria Situation; Samsung Introduces Wearable Computer with a Resounding Thud; Global Food Prices Fall in August, Close to Bottoming out

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World Markets Mixed Awaiting Fallout from U.S.-Syria Situation (Bloomberg)

As U.S. President Obama continues meeting with Washington leaders, trying to gain support for attacking Syria in retaliation for the perceived use of chemical weapons, global markets seem to be holding their breath. In the Far East, Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng both closed up, .08 and 1.22 percent, respectively, while the Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 fell .38 percent. In Europe, the feeling was a little more consistent, with England’s FTSE 100, the German DAX and the STOXX 50 Index all up slightly, as of this writing. Investors will have to see how this story plays out…

Samsung Introduces Wearable Computer with a Resounding Thud (CNBC)

Yesterday, in Berlin, Germany, Samsung introduced its first wearable computer to a packed tent of expectant buyers and investors. And the result? People were underwhelmed by the company’s wristwatch computer. As Cosmin Laslau, an analyst from Lux Research, put it, “Bulky form factor, poor battery life and questionable utility hobble today’s smart watches.” While Samsung’s Galaxy Gear — the name for this new wave of mobile computers — may have beaten Apple and Google to market, it’s going to have to improve greatly before it’ll impact the company’s stock price — or investors’ portfolios.

Global Food Prices Fall in August, Close to Bottoming out (Reuters)

August made the fourth month in a row that food prices around the world fell, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The FAO’s price index measures monthly price changes within cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar. In August, the index sank about 1.9 percent, compared to July’s rating. Yet, according to FAO’s Senior Economist Abdolreza Abbassian, the prospect of bumper crops — after last year’s drought-reduced yield — already has been factored into food prices. “We are almost at the bottom,” Abbassian said. “Further declines are likely to be much less than those seen over the past few months.”  While low prices are great news for consumers, investors will need to hold on another couple of months to see a rebound.

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Stocks climbed today, led by automakers and technology companies, as investors awaited a Senate vote on action against Syria while also watching for signs from the Federal Reserve about when it will begin to taper its stimulus.

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