And September opens with a thud. A third straight monthly manufacturing contraction awakened market bears and wreaked havoc on stocks. However, a late-day rally helped pare losses on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Dow was not without winners, as both Verizon
Wal-Mart is trying to aggressively court holiday shoppers by lowering fees for layaway accounts. (And yes, even though Labor Day just ended, we are already talking about December holidays.) With the consumer still hurting, lowering the cost of entry to a $5 fee from $15 creates a smaller hurdle and could potentially boost sales. I'm not sure how much of a barrier $10 was, but every little bit helps in the crucial fourth quarter.
Off the Dow, the big news of the day came from health care, where serial acquirer Valeant
Valeant has done well for its investors, but the biggest story continues to be Apple. With the next iPhone set to debut in just over a week, download our new premium Apple report. It will keep you up to date on the biggest company in the world, whether it is still a buy at these lofty levels, and what it has in store for investors and consumers. Get your copy.
David Williamson holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.