Stocks Look to End Four-Day Slump

It feels like Groundhog Day...

For the second year in a row, stocks seem to be evaporating early gains and are in jeopardy of finishing the year right where they started it: flat.

Yesterday, stocks fell for a fourth session, weighed down by worries about European debt and nervousness at the start of second quarter earnings season.

The Dow gave up 83 points, the Nasdaq fell 29, and the S&P 500 lost 11 points.

Futures this Wednesday morning are pointing modestly higher.

Today’s focus is on the 2 p.m. ET release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting. Investors want to know if the recent signs of a weakening U.S. economy are compelling enough to make the Fed less reluctant to boost the economy with its stimulus tools.

Another city in California is filing for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy. San Bernardino is facing a $45 million dollar budget shortfall, and the prospect of not being able to pay city workers. San Bernardino recently negotiated major concessions from employees, and slashed its workforce by a fifth over the past four years. In the past two weeks, Stockton and Mammoth Lakes have also declared themselves bankrupt.

If you don’t like your car, return it. That’s what Chevrolet is telling buyers of its 2012 and 2013 model year vehicles. If they’ve driven less than 4,000 miles and there’s no damage on the car, General Motors is letting drivers take them back to its Chevy dealerships within 60 days of purchase. The program is called “Chevrolet Confidence,” created by the same executive behind the “Hyandai Assurance” program that took back cars if drivers lost their jobs.

Call it Lady and the Tramp…  Target and Neiman Marcus are teaming up to create a line featuring 24 top-notch designers. The 50-item collection will sell for between $8 and $500, but most purchases will set consumers back $60. The line will be available in December, just in time for the holidays. Target has recently paired up with designers Jason Wu and Missoni.

A survey of 500 Wall Street executives by law firm Labaton Sucharow finds that 24% say engaging in unethical, or worse illegal, behavior is necessary to be successful. 16% said they would commit insider trading if they could get away with it.

The survey comes amid the allegations that Barclays and other major banks rigged Libor. Bob Diamond, the former chief executive of Barclays is disputing claims that he gave misleading answers to a parliamentary committee which is investigating the rate-fixing scandal.