Midday Market Update

The major indexes are down slightly so far today. There are a few positives economics items; productivity is up, jobless claims were less-than-expected and Wal-Mart‘s (WMT) sales report topped forecasts.

The big news overseas is that the European Central Bank cut interest rates by 0.25% to bring rates to a record low of 1%. The ECB was under pressure to do quantitative easing, but it didn’t. As a result, the euro will gain against the U.S. dollar and British pound.

The Federal Reserve and Bank of England are both pursuing a policy of quantitative easing which puts pressure on their currencies. In fact, the Bank of England just said it will increase its target for bond purchases to 125 billion pounds from 75 billion pounds previously.

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