Can the Dow Shake Off Greece?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's (INDEX: ^DJI) downward run continued yesterday as a vacant Greek government continued to worry investors. Greek political parties again failed to form a coalition Tuesday, and a caretaker government has been appointed to oversee the country until new elections take place June 17. Investors are also increasingly concerned that Greece will be forced to leave the euro.
British and German markets are down slightly, while the French CAC 40 is up more than 1%. In Asia overnight, stocks declined sharply, with the Hang Seng losing more than 3%. Dow investors may finally be getting over the European turmoil, as futures are nosing up before open.
Enthusiasm for Friday's Facebook IPO may also be helping to buoy investors, though the social network received some bad news yesterday when General Motors (NYS: GM) announced it would stop advertising on the site. The carmaker, the country's third-largest advertiser after Procter & Gamble and AT&T, said it was moving $10 million in ad spending away from Facebook, as it had been disappointed with the results. Demand for Facebook shares continues to be higher than expected.
News also came out that Berkshire Hathaway (NYS: BRK.B) purchased 10 million shares of GM, as the automaker is trading near 52-week lows.
Following yesterday's shareholder meeting, JPMorgan Chase (NYS: JPM) is still not off the hot seat. The House Financial Subcommittee will meet today to finalize the Volcker rule, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has joined others who say the bank's recent $2 billion trading loss is evidence of the need for tighter oversight. The FBI and SEC have launched investigations into the bank over the blown-up trade.
One event investors will be keeping their eye on today is the release of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes at 2 p.m. The FOMC holds eight meetings throughout the year, the minutes of which are released three weeks later. The minutes help provide observers with a window into the Fed's view of the economy and its future.
Housing starts came in higher than expected for April at 717,000, beating estimates of 680,000. March figures were revised upward. The new construction could be a boon for Home Depot (NYS: HD) , which dropped 3% yesterday after missing earnings estimates. The Industrial Production report will shed more light on the economy when it comes out at 9:15 this morning.
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At the time this article was published Fool contributorJeremy Bowmanholds no positions in the companies in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of The Home Depot, Berkshire Hathaway, and General Motors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.
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