Markets are largely flat today, with global economic concerns taking precedence over positive economic data in the U.S. and stimulus efforts announced from a triad of overseas central banks. Below are a few of the key economic data points of the day.
- The June ADP labor report showed private sector payrolls rose 176,000, above expectations of only 100,000.
- Weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest level in six weeks.
- The Bank of England increased the size of its bond-buying program by $78 billion to $585 billion.
- The European Central Bank cut its benchmark rate by 0.25% to 0.75%.
- China cut its benchmark lending and deposit rates, and provided more flexibility for lenders to discount below those rates.
All of the stimulus moves are meant to spur economic growth by making access to money easier and cheaper for both businesses and consumers. However, they also communicate an underlying level of concern from policymakers over current economic conditions. In response, European and Asian markets were relatively mixed, with China's Shanghai Composite moving 1.2% move lower on heightened fears of a slowdown.
For U.S. markets, the positive labor reports are failing to remove concerns ahead of tomorrow's June jobs report. Here's a snapshot of where the major indexes stood as of 2 p.m. EDT.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Source: Yahoo! Finance
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Many of the nation's largest retailers reported June same-store sales today, and anemic consumer income growth was evident, despite the industry's aggregate 2.5% growth (excluding drugstores) edging out expectations of 2.4%. Looking specifically at drugstores, Walgreen
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