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Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
Dow: 16,368.27, -75.07 (-0.46%)
Nasdaq: 4,334.97, -20.08 (-0.46%)
S&P 500: 1,909.57, -10.67 (-0.56%)
The ongoing standoff between the West and Russia, and economic malaise in Europe continue to offset confidence in the U.S. economy. This morning, Moscow banned most food imports from Western nations in response to heightened economic sanctions. The deal isolates Russians from global trade to a level that hasn't been seen since the end of the Cold War, with specific imports from the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union, and Norway banned.
Following yesterday's announcement that Italy has fallen into a recession, European economies remained committed to pro-growth stimuli in the form of low interest rates. The Bank of England remained pat on its benchmark rate at 0.5%. The UK central bank hasn't hiked rates since 2007, but calls for an increase are heating up. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank kept its primary financing rate at 0.15%, a record low, with deposit rates at -0.1% and marginal lending rate at 0.4%.
Here are more of the top stories from today:
- Banks Behaving Badly: Despite reaching a $16 billion to $17 billion settlement with federal regulators, Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) may need to take another $2 billion charge on mortgage-related concerns. The company settled a probe today over misconduct related to mortgage products in the run-up to the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The deal would be the largest settlement ever between a financial firm and regulators, far outpacing the $13 billion deal between the U.S. Department of Justice and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM).
- A Strong Debut: Shares of iDreamSky Technology Ltd. (Nasdaq: DSKY) jumped more than 7% today after the company debuted at $15 per share this morning for the first time on the Nasdaq exchange. The company is raising $115.5 million by selling 7.7 million shares in the public offering. iDreamSky is a mobile game publisher based in China and is expecting a lot of investor interest due to the booming gaming sector. On the same day, its "rival" Cheetah Mobile Inc. (NYSE ADR: CMCM) saw shares rise 13% on surging volumes after the firm announced its intention to report second-quarter earnings on Tuesday, August 19.
- Amazon Targeted: Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) were up more than 2.6% on news that the company is teaming up with Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) to take on rival Amazon.com Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AMZN) book delivery services. The two companies will team up to offer same-day book delivery from Barnes & Noble's online channel through Google's new expedited service. The program will allow readers in Manhattan, West Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area to be the first to use the new service. Google's Shopping Express has already allowed customers to receive same-day delivery from its other partners, CostCo Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST), Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG), and Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), since its launch in 2013. Another giant threat is also about to challenge Amazon's dominance – read about it here, and learn how to find much better investing picks in minutes…
- Where Is the Profit: Shares of fertilizer giant CF Industries Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CF) slid more than 3.5% on news the company saw its second-quarter profits plummet 37% due to declining prices and rising input costs like natural gas. The announcement pulled down shares of its principle competitors like Potash Corp. (NYSE: POT) and Agrium Inc. (NYSE: AGU).
- Fore: Shares of Callaway Golf Co. (NYSE: ELY) were up on the same day that the PGA championship teed off in Louisville, Ky. The company announced plans to engage a $50 million buyback. Callaway has struggled in recent years as golf continues to decline in popularity compared to other domestic sports in the United States.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only: