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It's the Economy

— The New York Times says stock markets "fell sharply across most of Asia again today and continued declining in Europe as investors worried about weakness in the American economy. But share prices rebounded in Shanghai and Shenzhen, the mainland Chinese stock markets that had been the first to tumble during Tuesday's global sell-off."

Another Times article notes: "In America, [yesterday's] selling seemed to add to worries that a decline in the housing market, and problems in particular with loans to risky borrowers, could spill over. And a report yesterday indicating that orders for durable goods … were surprisingly weak in January revived doubts about the strength of the American economy."

The AP adds that Fed chief Ben Bernanke is set to testify on Capitol Hill today about the economy. "His remarks follow comments from former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who stirred concern about the health of the U.S. economy with a warning over the weekend that a recession could take hold later this year."