Sales of Windows 7 fuel growth for the software giant. Stocks end flat as 3M's decline pushes the Dow lower, but traders appear to be waiting for next week's election and Fed meeting.
Prices continued to fall on worries that the Federal Reserve may not inject as much money into the economy as expected.
A stronger US currency weighed on prices even after the Fed chairman said inflation levels are too low.
Prices rallied past $1,370 as the US dollar weakened.
Stocks turn up -- as the dollar falls -- after the Fed vows to step in to boost economy. Pfizer is buying King Pharmaceuticals. Drilling shares rise after Obama lifts drilling moratorium.
Prices slipped as investors waited for news of more monetary easing from the Federal Reserve.
The Dow nearly hits 11,000 but ends off 19 points. Investors cheer Alcoa results. Retailers see decent September sales. Analysts see the U.S. jobless rate rising to 9.7%.
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After enjoying a smooth rise in stock prices since May, investors are about to be hit with another bout of volatility.
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.
Homeowners associations ban them and environmentalists love them. All that aside, though, a clothesline saves you money.
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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