Yesterday was a great one across the board for stocks and indexes. But today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is struggling to hold on to the gains. While the index’s biggest dip this morning only took it down 33 points, the biggest peaks have only just reached yesterday’s close — with the index sitting at a 2-point gain at 11 a.m. EDT. Gloomy news from home and abroad may be quieting the bull market that rode through Wall Street yesterday.
Across the pond, the eurozone is headed back into troubled waters. GDP figures showed that the French economy is back in a recession for the first time since 2009, while Germany had only a modest increase in the first quarter. The eurozone economy shrank, with the recent data showing the longest recession for the collective countries since the currency was introduced in 1999. Without much help from the labor market, which reached record unemployment of 12.1% in March, there is little chance for a turnaround before next year.
Closer to home, a bevvy of industrial data was released this morning, which showed disappointing figures. Producer prices fell in April as gas and food costs dropped sharply. The 0.7% drop in April is the largest recorded since 2010, with continued drops expected to follow. Cutbacks in U.S. manufacturing resulted in industrial production declines of 0.5% — the largest decline in eight months. Business investments are starting to slow down as the country prepared for the across-the-board federal budget cuts to take hold. An increase in hiring and progress from overseas markets could help bring manufacturing back online, but neither is expected to happen in the very near future.
Take it to the bank
Financials are the solid gainers again this morning, with American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) leading the way. The personal finance company is up 1.5% just after 11 a.m. EDT. The company may be getting an added boost from the news that Paymill, a digital payment service, now allows merchants to accept more credit cards — including American Express Company (NYSE:AXP). Though there are still plenty of merchants that will not accept the cards — largely due to higher processing fees — expansion of the technological capabilities to accept the card may open more doors for the credit card company.