Economic data included another rise in the savings rate, a rise that reflects concern over jobs and one that is chocking off consumer spending. Construction spending on housing continues to fall while spending on commercial and government projects is now on the decline. ISM data on the manufacturing sector showed slowing rates of contraction but nevertheless point to six months of remaining contraction and a full year of contraction for factory jobs. Company news included another run of layoffs, this one led by retailer Macy's.
approach of Friday's jobs report, one that is expected to show another month of giant losses, kept markets quiet. The Dow industrials fell 0.8 percent while the dollar gave back 1/2 cent of its recent gains against the euro to end at $1.2840. There was a moderate safe-haven bid for long term Treasuries with the 30-year yield down 14 basis points to 3.47 percent.
The risk of a refinery strike seems remote, judging at least by oil prices which slipped 3 percent to $40.37. Gold gave back 3% of its recent gains to end at $903.80.