U.S. Markets Drop on Chicago Fed National Activity Index (LUV, AAI, ACV, UN)

The Chicago Fed released their National Activity Index for August today and noted that their index decreased from -.11 in July to -.53 in August. The report also mentioned the recent announcement by the National Bureau of Economic Research that the recession had ended in June of 2009. The Chicago Fed’s report indicates that they believe it is more likely that it actually ended October 26th, 2009. You can go here to see the full report.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) put off its planned vote for determining how to dismantle failing financial companies. This delay comes on the heels of the failure of two more small banks on Friday. On this news and the Chicago Fed release, investors started the week less confident than they ended last week and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 48.22 points to 10,812.04. The Nasdaq fell 11.45 points to 2,369.77 and the S&P 500 dropped 6.51 points to 1,142.16.

European markets were down on Monday while Asian markets were up.

Mergers and acquisitions in the news: Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE: LUV), AirTran Holdings Inc (NYSE: AAI), Alberto Culver Co (NYSE: ACV), Unilever NV (NYSE: UN).