A government shutdown and debt default loom as Democrats and Republicans continue to battle over money. The fighting could affect markets next week.
The Dow and S&P 500 move higher after 5 days of losses. Still, a strong open fades as worries about a government shutdown build. Bed Bath & Beyond jumps on strong earnings.
The central bank's decision on whether to trim its bond buying may dictate if the market has a good week. Oracle and FedEx earnings are on tap.
The people who manage the blue-chip index are substituting Goldman Sachs, Nike and Visa for Alcoa, Bank of America and Hewlett-Packard.
Apple pushes the Nasdaq and Nasdaq-100 to 13-year highs, and the Dow jumps 141, its best day since mid-July, thanks to gains from Caterpillar, 3M and IBM.
The Labor Department issues its August report before Friday's open. Investors are looking for data that give the Fed room not to trim its bond buying.
The Dow falls nearly 4.5% for the month as stocks suffer modest losses. September, historically a tough month, looms. Markets are closed Monday for Labor Day.
The Nasdaq's loss is its largest in more than a year. Stocks are suffering biggest monthly losses since May 2012 on concerns about possible U.S. response to nerve-gas use in Syria.
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The Market Dispatches column has been discontinued. Here's where to find the latest stock and business news on MSN Money, and the latest from market writer Charley Blaine.
MONEY & POLITICS
Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
Cheap LED light bulbs cost more upfront -- between $8 to $10 apiece -- but begin to pay off within 18 months.
Six weeks later, most Americans have forgotten about the 2014 tax season -- except those who didn't file by the April 15 deadline.
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