Economic Data Lowers Stocks; Gold, Silver Rise; Egyptian Oilfields Remain Open but Alert

Economic Data Lowers Stocks (Bloomberg)

Continued concern over when the Federal Reserve will reduce its stimulus combined with bond yield-raising economic data to give U.S. stocks their biggest one-day drop since June. “With weaker earnings, higher interest rates and geopolitical concerns, risk assets like stocks don’t do well in that type of environment,” Jim Russell, the senior equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said. “The jobless claims numbers were sufficiently strong that taper fears are probably front and center in terms of display today.”

Gold, Silver Rise (CNBC)

An unsure picture of the U.S. economic recovery and weakness in the dollar led gold to rise more than two percent today to a two-month high. Silver soared for a seventh straight session, while platinum and palladium also increased in value. “Today’s move was mostly driven by technicals, and that spooked the bearish bets out of the gold market,” said Axel Merk, chief investment officer at California-based Merk Funds.

Egyptian Oilfields Remain Open but Alert (Reuters)

In the face of unrest across the country, the operations of major oil companies in Egypt are, for now, continuing normally. “Operations and production are unaffected. We are monitoring the security situation in the (urban) areas where we have offices. All our people are safe and accounted for,” a BP spokesman said.