A Look at the Markets for March 10
Ouch! The stock market is taking a hit in the afternoon hours today as the February federal budget deficit sets record. The deficit rose by $222.5 billion in February, making it the biggest one-month increase in history. Many economists are forecasting that this year’s deficit will be the biggest imbalance recorded. The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting a $1.5 trillion gap this year, giving the U.S. the third straight year of $1 trillion-plus deficits. The Dow is down 187 points, the Nasdaq is down 41 points, and the S&P is down 19 points. All the major indices are down 1.5% on the day so far. Let’s take a look at what else is happening across the markets today.
Traders were shocked today when China reported a trade deficit for February. The country’s exports were down as businesses closed for the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday. An increase in imports of higher priced oil and other goods caused China’s deficit to increase to $7.3 billion.
Moody, the ratings agency, downgraded Spain’s debt today raising fears about the European debt crisis. This news also sent the dollar higher against the euro today with the EUR/USD currently trading down 0.0111 or 0.7983%.
And finally, energy companies were one of the hardest hit sectors as oil went down 3% causing Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) to fall 3% and Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) to fall a little over 3% so far today.
A glimmer of green in the sea of red today was Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX) rising 8% today after Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) agreed to distribute Starbucks coffee and teas for its single-serve Keurig brewing systems. You can read more about that deal here. Also Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) was up 5% in afternoon trading.