Bernanke Worries, Weak Earnings Hit Stocks

October 23, 2012 9:00 AM EDT
Stock futures are notably lower Tuesday as weak earnings numbers continue roll in and questions about Ben Bernanke's future as Federal Reserve Chairman are raised.

S&P 500 futures are down 1%, Dow futures are down 1.1% and Nasdaq futures are down 0.9%.

The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin created a stir after reporting overnight that, "Mr. Bernanke has told close friends that even if Mr. Obama wins, he probably will not stand for re-election." It was already a well known fact that if Mr. Romney was elected that he would not re-elect Bernanke.

A separate article from the New York Times' Binyamin Appelbaum, discussing the same topic, doesn't mention this detail, instead noting that the Obama administration has not commented on plans for the top Fed job in 2014. Mr. Bernanke himself avoided the question in September, saying, "I am very focused on my work... and I don't have any decision or any information to give you on my personal plans."

The market is reacting negatively to this news as Mr. Bernanke is considered ultra-dovish and his unorthodox monetary moves have helped bolster asset prices.

On the earnings front, DuPont (NYSE: DD) reported that sales fell 9.2 percent to $7.39 billion, from $8.14 billion last year. Net income markedly dropped from $452 million down to just $10 million, or 1 cent per share. Excluding significant items like currency adjustments and variable costs, third-quarter EPS was more robust at 32 cents per share. Overall, the Street was looking for revs of $8.14 billion and EPS of 47 cents.

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Ben S. Bernanke, Standard & Poor's, Barack Obama, Earnings


Felix Hoabart Clauss on 2012-10-23 11:21:41
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Arthur Anderson was a great group of people.

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