Bernanke speaks; Congress listens

Markets turn on the words of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who is scheduled to speak to Congress at 9 a.m. CDT today. In a copy of his prepared statement, released earlier this morning, Bernanke appeared to try to reassure officials that the Fed will adjust its plan to reduce its quantitative easing policy in response to unemployment and inflation, reports Bloomberg.


What? Housing starts fall unexpectedly in June

U.S. housing starts fell to their lowest level in nearly a year in June, indicating a pause in the recovering housing market, likely prompted by a slump in multifamily projects, which can be volatile, reports Bloomberg.


Barclays fights fine over U.S. energy price rigging claim

British bank Barclays PLC, which was fined $450 million last year in a scandal over allegations of rigging the Libor international interest rate benchmark, will fight a $453 million fine by a U.S. energy regulators, reports Reuters. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission alleges that Barclays traders manipulated energy prices in U.S. utilities in order to profit from those price fluctuations.