Asian markets followed the U.S. market’s Monday rout by suffering more losses. Japan’s Nikkei dropped 4.1 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite slid 2 percent.
Europe is turning in a mixed performance as the region received many economic reports. The euro zone September Business Survey came in at 105.6, higher than the expected 104.1, and Germany’s August Import Price Index was down 1.5 percent as expected. The U.K. FTSE is lower by 0.4 percent and the German DAX is up by 0.1 percent.
The U.S. stock market was trying to stage a rally in pre-market trading, but as the session opened, stocks began flipping back and forth. The S&P 500 moved up by 2 points to 1,881, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 19 points to 16,021 and the Nasdaq was flat at 4,543.
In economic news, the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales report for last week came in down 1.5 percent, a little lower than the previous week’s negative 1.4 percent. Year-over-year, weekly sales were up 0.9 percent.
Alibaba and its financial company Ant Financial have agreed to make a strategic investment in Paytm, India’s largest mobile payment and commerce platform. India’s startup sector is increasingly becoming an important area of growth and the big players do not want to miss out on it. The news helped lift Alibaba shares in early trading to $58, an increase of 61 cents. Welcome news, since Yahoo has said it plans to go forward with spinning off its Alibaba shares.
Japanese bulk carrier Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha filed for bankruptcy protection. The shipping industry has suffered from the drop in commodity prices and the Japanese carrier is the second to fail this month. Global Maritime Investment Cyprus filed for bankruptcy on September 15.
Apparently good underwear can lead to a job promotion. Maidenform released a survey that said 74 percent of women feel more confident when wearing shapewear. Eighty-eight percent said confident women are more likely to receive a job promotion. Those doing the hiring seem to agree, because 44 percent said they look for confidence in a new hire. Half of all women have worn shapewear and 52 percent are worried about “tummy bulge.” Maidenform is owned by Hanesbrands, whose stock is up 6 percent for the past year.