Daily Scan: Stocks seesaw dropping sharply with oil; Fed meeting minutes show rate indecision

    ice bucket challenge

    Updated throughout the day

    August 19

    Good evening,

    U.S. stocks seesawed Wednesday, falling sharply with oil prices at the open but clawing back nearly all the losses after the Federal Reserve released its July meeting minutes. The minutes revealed that the Fed was likely to hesitate before raising rates, which was initially catnip to traders who then reconsidered. No rate hike imminent? Then perhaps the economy isn’t so robust — and that doesn’t bode well for corporate profits. In the end, the S&P 500 fell 0.83%, the Dow dropped 0.93%, and the Nasdaq was down 0.8%. Meanwhile, Target’s earnings surpassed expectations, coming in at $1.22 a share for adjusted earnings. Staples reported a slight decline in earnings and sales. Earnings were $36 million or 6 cents a share, down from $82 million or 13 cents a share a year ago. Lowes already reported second quarter earnings: per share missed but big ticket items pushed revenues higher.

    Here’s what else you need to know:

    Ice bucket challenge helped discovery. The money raised by the Ice Bucket Challenge last year helped scientists discover more about a dysfunctional protein tied to ALS. In a new study from Johns Hopkins, researchers say that the protein can be fixed, meaning a cure for ALS is possible, though likely still years away. BBC

    Bank of America board gets pay raise. Most board members for BoA received restricted stock worth $36,000 in June, meaning the lowest-paid board members now makes about $280,000 a year. A spokesperson says most board members haven’t received a raise since 2006, despite increased responsibilities. Wall Street Journal

    IMF won’t add yuan to basket yet. The IMF announced that it is freezing its benchmark currency basket that the yuan has so desperately been vying for until October 2016. The IMF board will vote in November whether the Chinese currency will be added to the Special Drawing Rights basket. Reuters

    Turkey faces violence. A bomb killed eight soldiers and gunmen fired on police in Istanbul Wednesday. Two terrorists, as the governor’s office called them, were arrested outside the Dolmabahce palace. Militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were behind the bomb. Earlier in the day, Turkish planes destroyed PKK shelters near the Iraqi border. Reuters

    ISIS beheads antiquities scholar. Khalid al-Asaad, the retired director of antiquities for Palmyra, was beheaded by ISIS Tuesday after being detained for weeks. The 83-year-old Asaad long guarded Palmyra, one of Syria’s greatest archaeological sites. Asaad was known to many as “Mr. Palmyra” because of his dedication to and restoration of the ruins. New York Times

    Elite boarding school under fire. The elite boarding school St. Paul’s in New Hampshire has been thrown into the spotlight for a senior tradition of “hooking up” with as many underclassman as possible known as the “senior salute.” A 16-year-old female student accused an older student of raping her during his conquests in May 2014 when she was a freshman. The trial is underway. The school’s alumni includes Nobel Prize winners and Secretary of State John Kerry. NBC

    Former Subway rep faces jail time. Jared Fogle, famous for losing 245 lbs with the help of a Subway diet, will plead guilty to child pornography charges and to traveling to pay for sex with minors. Fogle, who was dropped by Subway upon his arrest, faces five to more than 12 years in prison. CNN

    Greece is having a good day. German MPs vote in favor of third Greek bailout. The approval comes despite concerns of a rebellion within the ranks of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right group. 454 MPs voted in favor of the 86 billion euro ($95 billion) bailout deal while 113 voted against, 18 abstained. Plus:  Fitch Ratings  raised Greece’s credit rating from “CC” to “CCC,” saying that “last week’s deal was reached relatively quickly … suggests(ing) that relations with the creditors have improved.” Straits TimesCNBC

    Billionaire hedgies betting big on gold.  George Soros, Stanley Druckenmiller, John Paulson, and David Einhorn have bets ranging from $33.6 million to Paulson’s $1.5 billion on the metal, which is down 40% from its 2011 high. CNN Money

    Another roller coast ride in China. After falling over 5% by the midday break, Chinese shares staged a huge rally in the afternoon, with the Shanghai Composite climbing 1.23% at 3,794.11, and the Shenzhen Composite gaining 2.2% at 2,222.05. One reason for the turnaround: “a handful” of companies revealed their stakeholders, which included state-owned entities — the invisible hand of Beijing once more saving the day. MarketWatch

    You won’t believe this:

    Died: Former Batgirl. Actress Yvonne Craig, Batgirl from the 1960s “Batman” show. The 78-year-old Craig was trained as a professional dancer and did her own stunts as the girl-wonder. Craig went on to other movies and TV shows, including “Star Trek.” NPR

    Smoke and run. Marijuana users want you to know they aren’t lazy stoners. Events company 420 Games hosts road races and sporting events in a pot-friendly environment. The company doesn’t sell or distribute marijuana, so it can operate in states where recreational use of the drug is not legal. Cannabis use before races can help with focus and recovery, the group says. MarketWatch

    Don’t I know that name? Hackers release Ashley Madison data. And if you find your name there – don’t worry – you seem to be in good company. A certain “TBlair” from the U.K.’s Labour government seems to be on there as well. Wired

    Photo: Josh Wedin