U.S. stocks fell a fourth day, the longest slump in 10 weeks for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as investors weighed economic data for clues on the timing of Federal Reserve stimulus cuts amid optimism over a budget deal.
House Republican leaders proposed a short-term increase in the debt ceiling that would continue the government shutdown and reduce the prospects for a U.S. default while extending the partisan fiscal fight.
Mining takeovers in Australia may reverse a slump after new Prime Minister Julia Gillard signaled a desire to resolve a dispute over a minerals tax that prompted the downfall of her predecessor, investment bankers said.
“Down is up and up is down. I feel like we have passed through the looking glass and are looking back at a backwards world,” a military historian of the modern Middle East wrote in a recent note to me about the hectic diplomacy over Syria and Iran. “Where did all the realists go? It’s as though the Cold War never took place.”
Ohio Senator Rob Portman said at a Bloomberg-Washington Post breakfast at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, that the U.S. presidential debates will help Republican Mitt Romney close a likability gap with President Barack Obama.