Markets were feeling depressed earlier this morning, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) and the S&P 500 dropping following a slew of reports that point to an economy stuck in neutral -- but both bounced into the green shortly thereafter.
The latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed growth in home prices slowing to just 0.6% from June to July, while analysts were expecting a gain of 0.8%. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond added to the gloom, reporting that manufacturing activity stayed flat in September, while employment in the sector fell.
Lastly, the Conference Board noted that consumer confidence fell this month, registering a 79.7 from 81.8 in August. The release attributed the decrease in the index to consumer concerns regarding employment and earnings expectations.
The Dow slumped shortly after these readings but began to climb again after it was announced that the U.S. Senate would take a procedural vote on a bill to prevent a government shutdown on Oct. 1.
Ups and downs
As for individual stocks, Boeing (NYSE: BA ) is flying high today in the face of news that it lost out on a $7.7 billion contract to supply South Korea with F-15 fighter jets. Investors weren't downcast, though, perhaps because of a report from European Aeronautic Defense & Space, the maker of Airbus. EADS released a 20-year forecast earlier today showing that the number of aircraft is expected to double by 2032 -- a definite upper for Boeing.
On the downside, big banks JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are looking glum, possibly on some more dour news from peer Citigroup (NYSE: C ) . Citi announced a round of 1,000 layoffs due to the lack of mortgage refinancing and originations, which, as The Wall Street Journal notes, brings the number of job losses at the nation's largest banks to more than 7,000. JPMorgan is down almost 1% so far today, while Goldman has lost 0.1%.
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