The stock market is tanking. At midday Aug. 4, the Dow had fallen 300 points. The bond market is also beginning to growl like a bear. Investors are buying long-dated bonds while eschewing shorter-term securities to protect their assets, a clear indication that they feel the economy is likely to weaken further. High-profile economists are also turning gloomy. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers put the chances of another recession at 1-in-3; Harvard economist Martin Feldstein put it at 1-in-2. What's behind all the pessimism? Here are four big factors that are weighing on stocks and could determine the course of the global economy in the coming months:
Two months after Obamacare was enacted, a memo from an outside consultant questioned whether the appropriate personnel were launching the program.
Retail sales rose 0.2 percent in August, half the rate analysts expected. Consumer sentiment falls, mortgage rates rise, and Obama administration denies report that it has picked a new Fed chairman.
Next Federal Reserve chairman must strongly support central bank's dual mandate, president says, and right now that means boosting employment. Also this week: jobless claims rise, credit card debt falls, and drama unfolds at J.C. Penney.
President Obama 'puts more stock' in private advice than in public advice about who should replace Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, say presidential advisers Gene Sperling and Dan Pfeiffer.