Q: The Dow slumps overnight, why?
A: US shares sold off sharply Thursday as a profit shortfall at Exxon Mobil and a downgrade of Citigroup pressured the major averages and more than erased the prior session’s gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 362.14 points, or 2.6%, to 13,567.87. The S&P 500 lost 40.94 points, or 2.6%, at 1,508.44, and the Nasdaq Composite tanked 64.29 points, or 2.3%, to 2,794.83. Two members of the Dow were notable losers, led by Citi, which fell US$2.85, or 6.9% to a 52-week low at US$38.51 after CIBC World Markets cut its rating on the stock and said it might be facing a huge capital shortfall.
Credit Suisse also downgraded Citi. Several brokers fell in sympathy. Morgan Stanley tumbled 7.2%, Merrill Lynch was down 5.8%, Bear Stearns lost 5%, and Lehman Brothers shed 4.5%. Also dropping was Exxon Mobil. The oil giant’s stock declined US$3.49, or 3.8%, to US$88.50 after its latest quarterly report, which showed profits that were 5 cents short of analysts’ expectations of US$1.75. Weak refining margins were the primary culprit.
答：埃克森美孚盈利不及预期及花旗集团评级下调拖累主要指数，美股周四遭遇沉重沽压，前日涨幅抹煞殆尽。道琼斯工业平均指数下跌362.14点，报13,567.87点，跌幅2.6%。标准普尔500指数下跌40.94点，报1,508.44点，跌幅2.6%。纳斯达克综合指数下跌64.29点，报2,794.83点，跌幅2.3%。道指两大成分股大幅下跌，其中最为严重的是花旗。由于CIBC World Markets下调花旗评级，并称其将面临巨额资金短缺，该股下跌2.85美元，跌幅6.9%，报38.51美元，为52周低位。Credit Suisse也下调了花旗评级。不少券商均表赞同。摩根士丹利跌7.2%，美林跌5.8%，贝尔斯登跌5%，莱曼兄弟跌4.5%。埃克森美孚亦沦为下跌股。这个石油巨头最近一期季报显示，每股盈利较分析人士预期的1.75美元低5美分，该股下跌3.49美元，跌幅3.8%，报88.50美元。较低的精炼利润率是罪魁祸首。
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Q: What about crude?
A: Crude futures surpassed US$96 a barrel overnight, but a volatile day for the market ended with oil down US$1.04 from its prior settlement to finish at US$93.49. In electronic trading well before the New York floor session got started, light sweet crude for December delivery hit an all-time high at US$96.24. On Wednesday, oil settled at a record US$94.53 as bullish inventory figures from the Energy Information Administration combined with the expectation for a rate cut to send prices soaring.
The EIA said crude stores fell by 3.9 mln barrels during the week ended Oct. 26, whereas analysts were expecting a 400,000-barrel increase. The main cause to the disruption in inventories was the decline in oil production and exports from Mexican producer Pemex, according to Jim Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics. The fact that most of the reduction occurred in the Gulf Coast region supports this argument.
答：昨夜原油期货突破96美元，但盘中走势反复，石油结算价下跌1.04美元，收报93.49美元。在纽约场内交易开始前，电子交易平台上12月份交货的轻质甜油攀至历史新高，报96.24美元。在能源信息管理局发出的利好库存数据及减息预期的双重作用下，周三油价飙升，结算价刷新记录，报94.53美元。能源信息管理局表示在截至10月26日止一周内，原油库存减少390万桶，而分析人士此前的预计为增加40万桶。WTRG Economics的能源经济师Jim Williams认为库存下滑的主要原因是墨西哥石油企业Pemex的石油产量及出口减少。减产油田大多位于墨西哥湾岸区，令这一观点更为可信。
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Q: How is the USD doing?
A: Markets last night once again turned their head towards the impact of the global credit crunch, which in turn saw notable drops in both the EUR and the Japanese Yen (JPY). While EUR/USD traded as low as 1.4402 in US markets, USD/JPY reached as high as 115.90 before easing in New York trade to open this morning at 114.60. Markets this evening will be keeping a close eye on the ever-influential US payrolls data which should shine some light on the state of the US economy.
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