Stocks up as Reports Beat Estimates (Bloomberg)
Following the largest drop in benchmark indices in three months, U.S. stocks rose today, thanks to estimate-beating housing and consumer confidence data. “The economic numbers have been holding up really well,” said Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector analysis at San Francisco-based Charles Schwab Corp. “The home data show that the housing market is rebounding and should continue to contribute to growth. It helps to feed into consumer confidence as well. They’re related. In a time when we see more uncertainty rising, decent economic data helps to calm things down a little bit.”
Sequester Layoffs Could Draw Litigation (CNBC)
If Friday’s sequester comes to pass, the government will look to make a portion of its required spending reductions by laying off contractors. “Given the scope of program cutbacks, the risk of litigation is high,” Connie Bertram, a labor and employment lawyer at Proskauer, said. “Contractor employees often work in highly specialized fields, so if entire programs are eliminated or substantially reduced, it will be difficult for former employees to find comparable employment. This is a recipe for workers to sue the firm.”
Euro Continues Fall after Italy Election (Reuters)
In the aftermath of Italy’s messy election, the euro has continued its decline against both the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen. Fears of a politically deadlocked Italian parliament led investors to worry that Italy’s economic reforms could stagnate and that the euro zone debt could become an issue again. As a result, investors sought shelter in the aforementioned non-euro currencies.