Stock Futures Decline as Yen Surges
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were declining Thursday as the Japanese yen and Treasuries surged, and as investors remained on edge about the future direction of global monetary policy ahead of a spate of U.S. economic reports. The Japanese market sank into bear market territory Thursday.
"There is very real panic in the markets this morning all around the world as stock prices quite literally plunged in Asia ... as money is moving out of equities into bonds and anything associated with dollars of any sort are being sold," Dennis Gartman, an economist and trader, said in his daily Gartman letter.
Futures for the S&P 500 were falling 8 points, or 10.02 points below fair value, to 1,602. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were slumping 70 points, or 81.23 points below fair value, to 14,908. Futures for the Nasdaq were down 14.5 points, or 20.29 points below fair value, to 2,905.75.
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The Nikkei 225 in Japan plunged 6.35% to finish at 12,445.38, dipping into bear market territory as the yen surged to its highest level against the U.S. dollar since the Bank of Japan introduced its aggressive economic stimulus package. Earlier this week, Japan's central bank announced its decision to refrain from further stimulus measures, hurting sentiment among some investors. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index fell 2.19% after re-opening after a public holiday on Wednesday.
European markets followed the Asian markets with declines of their own, with the FTSE 100 in London falling 1.15% and the DAX in Germany declining 1.71%. Last week, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi played down expectations that the central bank will do much more beyond continuing to pledge to do whatever it takes to defend the euro.