The Dow Moves Down while Fears about the Economy Hold Steady (BA)

U.S. markets were down today thanks to a combination of mixed and negative news about business and the economy. Among the mixed news today was The Federal Reserve Board’s Beige Book snapshot report on the economy (you can read the full report here ).

The overall consensus within the report was that economic activity is increasing, albeit slowly. The report found mostly modest increases in consumer retail spending, struggles in the commercial and industrial real estate markets and mixed auto sales by district.

In the negative news column was the Commerce Department’s announcement that durable goods orders had declined for the second consecutive month in June. Additionally, regional budget woes have prompted many cities to announce that they will be cutting many full time positions by the end of the 2011 fiscal year.

Adding the final nail to the economic coffin of negativity were the quarterly results announced by Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) which disappointed investors as they showed a declining profit in the second quarter.

As a result, the Dow was down 39.81 points to close at10,497.88. The Nasdaq closed at 2,264.56 down 23.69 points and the S&P 500 was down 7.71 points to close at 1,106.13.

European markets were mixed on Wednesday with only the CAC 40 closing up. Asian markets were all up.