Global Stocks in Flux, Possible Fed Action Boosts U.S. Markets
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.
Following on the heels of the Dow’s worst day since 2008, global markets remained in flux amid continuing uncertainty over Europe’s debt crisis and the S&P downgrade of the United States’ credit rating. European markets saw a strong opening followed by a day of uneven performance, with a continued decline in the indexes of several Asian countries, including Tokyo’s Nikkei index falling 1.7 percent.
In the United States, speculation Tuesday morning that the Federal Reserve might announce another monetary stimulus helped futures rise on Wall Street, with Dow futures up 1.9 percent. Should the Fed opt for another round of monetary easing, it would be the third time in as many years. In August 2010, it announced a $600 billion stimulus, which expired in June. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was expected to hold meetings on Tuesday to discuss possible courses of action. An announcement is expected Tuesday afternoon.
U.S. stocks have seen a sharp downward trend in recent weeks, declining 15 percent to the tune of about $1 trillion.
Cameron Calls London Riots ‘Sickening,’ Recalls Parliament
British Prime Minister David Cameron has recalled Parliament in an effort to stem the rioting and violence that have gripped cities in England. On Wednesday, 16,000 police officers will descend on London’s streets.
Cameron described “sickening scenes of people looting, vandalising, thieving, robbing” and vowed that the government will “do everything necessary to restore order to Britain’s streets and make them safe for the law-abiding.”
The riots were sparked by a demonstration over the shooting of a 29-year-old man during a police operation in which an officer was also killed. The violence has spread across the city since the weekend, and more than than 500 people have been arrested. Another man who had been shot in the violence later died in the hospital.
Rioters have smashed shop windows, burned tires, destroyed cars and torched at least one police station.
Reports: Japanese Officials Withheld Nuclear Danger From Evacuees
There is growing anger among evacuees of the area near the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant after the March 11 tsunami and earthquake that officials in Tokyo withheld information on potentially dangerous radiation levels.
According to the New York Times:
In interviews and public statements, some current and former government officials have admitted that Japanese authorities engaged in a pattern of withholding damaging information and denying facts of the nuclear disaster — in order, some of them said, to limit the size of costly and disruptive evacuations in land-scarce Japan and to avoid public questioning of the politically powerful nuclear industry.
Residents from the town of Namie had inadvertently evacuated to an area where winds had shifted radiation from Fukushima and are now worried about damage to their health from the exposure.
U.N.: Number of Somalia Famine Refugees Could Rise
With swelling camps in nearby Kenya and Ethiopia struggling to cope with the influx of refugees from Somalia, the United Nations has warned that the number of people in dire need of food assistance could far outpace the efforts of aid groups in the area. Eleven million people in the Horn of Africa are threatened by the famine, and tens of thousands have died as a result of malnutrition.
In addition to rampant undernourishment, the World Health Organization said diseases like cholera are present in the camp, attacking refugees who are already weakened and cannot fight of the diseases.
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images.