Money Minute: Growth Fears Fuel Stock Sell-Off; Debt Ceiling Battle Looms

Investors are feeling battered and confused. Selling in stocks in Tokyo and Hong Kong accelerated overnight following Monday's massive sell-off on Wall Street. And investors in the U.S. are uncertain about whether we're in the midst of a temporary retreat, or a more fundamental end to the long running bull market.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) tumbled 326 points Monday, the seventh triple-digit loss already this year. The Dow is now down 7.25 percent from the record high set on Dec. 31. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) slid 107 points and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) skidded 40.

Maybe we shouldn't change Federal Reserve chiefs anymore. Monday was Janet Yellen's first day on the job. When Ben Bernanke took over in 2006, the financial crisis was about to explode. And his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, was greeted by an international currency crisis.

The looming battle over the debt ceiling could directly take aim at our wallets,
because of the timing this time around. The Obama administration warns that congressional failure to act this month could force the government to delay sending out tax refunds. It could also mean delays in Social Security benefits and military pay.

An unusual public-private partnership is aiming to achieve a breakthrough in the battle against diseases such as Alzheimer's, Type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. The Wall Street Journal says rival drug companies Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and 10 others are teaming up with a government health agency to pool their research efforts. It's the drug industry's version of open source sharing of data.

It's apparently time to get away. The snow and frigid temperatures have led to an increase in cruise bookings. Carnival (CCL) says 565,000 passengers booked trips in January, up 17 percent from a year ago. The company operates 101 ships under the Carnival, Princess, Cunard and Holland names. The interest in cruising the Caribbean comes despite recent reports of virus outbreaks on ships operated by Carnival and its main rival, Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL).

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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Troy Kuhn

best time to buy $DIA. http://qurl.com/4jbzd

February 04 2014 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Big deal some stocks were up today. The loss of millions of jobs aren't so easily iced over and forgotten.

February 04 2014 at 4:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Curt's Stuff

Now I know where the original designers of the Obamacare website went.

Over to Daily Finance to design their woopy-do new portfolio site.

February 04 2014 at 3:31 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Your lucky you have a Wall St to complain about my ancestors in New England didn't have a common currency or a stock market! They weren't even allowed to play cards because the church was ruled by Puritans who were quick to accuse and burn or hang anyone as a witch they didn't like.Many of the descendants of the people at my ancestors drunken card party republish the account on their own web sites today. My ancestor had bought property off the Curtis family to give to his own son. Many of the people lived in the same area of Connecticut. Now Thomas W and his family are constantly mentioned as each of the descendants of the early families piece together their own family tree.

February 04 2014 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

The 1% and their cronies will never be as famous as my ancestors nor will they be documented by the many Historical societies in the states and the library of congress let alone the colleges and churches in the UK!

February 04 2014 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

It\'s not surprising the lost of jobs hasn\'t been a job creator in the United States and that exports of scrap materials hasn\'t done much to make the trade deals a job creator!

February 04 2014 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Projected sales from the largest discounter announced just the other day will be down due to the cut in the food stamp program. Gee most people would not be needing the assistance in the first place had the store not driven the suppliers off shore like Pillow Tex who cut some 5,000 jobs!

February 04 2014 at 2:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
toosmart4u

The republicans said the same thing about Social Security and Medicare. All republicans voted against these 2 fine programs. Sound familiar, same thing going on today. In the long run Obamacare will be a fine program too. People need health insurance. You republicans should think for yourselves and not do and say what the GOP big money machines says. Approved by the supreme court. Baby it is the law now.

February 04 2014 at 2:10 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to toosmart4u's comment
rjmjlm711

Increase in family health care premiums under Obama $3,671.00 [subsidies being irrelevant]

February 04 2014 at 4:03 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
douginflorida1

I don't see how you conservatives can possibly blame President Barry. He has a complete grasp of the private sector. Before becoming a constitutioanl scholar, he had extensive private sector experience as a telemarketer in NY and manning a souvenir booth in Hawaii. His leadership skills honed as Founder and President of the Chome gang make him a natural leader of Men.
I'm sure History would show this, except for the fact that the survival is the human race is no longer likely past 3000 AD

February 04 2014 at 1:24 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
photoroy12

Even my face icon is gone

February 04 2014 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply