Hurricane Laura, upgraded overnight from Tropical Storm designation by the National Hurricane Center, is set to make landfall by Wednesday evening, and is set to disrupt the operations of major oil refineries in east Texas and Louisiana, some of which have already been shut as a precaution. So far, however, it appears unlikely that the storm will hit Houston, further west on the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Stocks came under pressure as the Conference Board reported an alarmingly sharp drop in its consumer confidence index for August. The index, which had been expected to rise to 93.0, instead fell to 84.8 - below even the lows registered in March and April. July's number was also revised down.