The recently arrested alleged Russian spies appeared to have a strong interest in financial matters. We know from the original complaint that the spies relayed some kind of "very valuable" information back to Moscow about gold. Now comes word, via WSJ, that one of those arrested worked at the economic research organization, The Conference Board.
Mikhail Semenko, who was arrested on Sunday for spying for Russia, worked from August 2008 until January 2009 at The Conference Board.
The Conference Board publishes the monthly Consumer Confidence Index, which is followed by Wall Street very closely and can often lead to a market moving event, once the number is released.
The most recent downturn in China's stock markets was the result of a downward revision to the Leading Economic Indicator for China that is put out by the Conference Board.