Stocks were stable early Wednesday after spending two days on the losing end of a wrestling match with the
Index futures recently showed both the
and Nasdaq 100 trading near fair value. The 10-year Treasury bond was down 2/32 in price to yield 5.01%, while the dollar was lower against the yen and euro. Treasuries and the dollar both jumped Tuesday in the wake of Ben Bernanke's fulminations on the inflation front.
On the economic docket Wednesday is a talk from Atlanta Fed president Jack Guynn. On Tuesday, hawkish remarks by Fed members Susan Bies and William Poole reinforced notions that the central bank will raise interest rates on June 29, leading to another down day for stocks.
For Tuesday, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
finished down 47 points, or 0.4%, to 11,002, while the S&P 500 fell 1.4 points, or 0.1%, to 1264 and the
lost 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2163. All three indices ended well above their worst levels as buyers emerged in the final hour of trading.
Overseas markets were lower Wednesday. London's FTSE 100 was recently down 0.1% to 5663, while Germany's Xetra DAX fell 0.1% to 5500. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei plunged 1.9% overnight to 15,096, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1% to 15,817.
Oil prices fell ahead of a report that is expected to show a 1.5 million-barrel rise in gasoline inventories last week and a 500,000-barrel decline in crude stocks. In electronic Nymex trading, July crude fell 52 cents to $71.98 a barrel. Among other commodities, gold lost $6.20 to $628.50 an ounce, while copper lost 7.5 cents to $3.42 a pound.
Resource stocks have borne the brunt of the market's recent weakness. Since the Fed's May 10 rate announcement,
is down 11%,
has lost 16%, and
has plunged 24%. Chemical companies
were downgraded Wednesday by Deutsche Bank.
To view Ana Dane's video take on today's premarket action, click here
Chips stocks have also taken a hit, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down 12% over the same period. Late Tuesday, the Semiconductor Industry Association raised its estimate of 2006 industry sales growth to 9.8%, from 7.9%. It cited rising demand among a host of consumer products.
In corporate news, Frank Lanza, the CEO of defense contractor
, died Tuesday. The 74-year-old Lanza had recently undergone surgery for an unspecified ailment. L-3's board is meeting Wednesday to choose an interim successor.
plan to repurchase 25% of its stock with borrowed money is running into trouble. The
Wall Street Journal
reported Wednesday that three directors appointed by a major holder, the Chandler family, oppose the restructuring, which contemplates a buyback range of $28 to $32.50 a share.
said second-quarter earnings fell by roughly half to $13.7 million, or 30 cents a share, reflecting restructuring charges. Sales also fell to $211.4 million and the company trimmed its 2006 forecast.
After the bell Wednesday, investors will see earnings from