Stocks are mixed as news of surging US housing starts partially offsets disappointing earnings from 2 of tech's biggest names.
Citigroup is upgraded to 'outperform,' and Apollo Group is downgraded to 'neutral.'
Big Blue's big weighting in the index could have an outsize impact.
Housing starts hit a 4-year high, cheering investors. But the Dow and Nasdaq muster only small gains because of weakness in IBM and Intel. Apollo shares sag on earnings warning. Nike ends ties with Lance Armstrong. Oil, gold move up.
If you aren't in 1 of these 3 areas, you are playing an earnings-and-macro game that rides more on luck than skill.
Construction of new homes climbed 15% in September. Big earnings are from IBM, BAC and PEP.
But IBM and Intel results disappoint. Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson results cheer Wall Street. Citigroup's Vikram Pandit abruptly resigns as CEO after a board conflict. Consumer prices rise along with gas prices.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
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.
If your wallet is running on empty but you still have more shopping to do, we've got you covered. Here are 10 cool kid gifts that won't break the bank.
The IRS is struggling to combat identify thieves who file fraudulent tax returns in the names of older residents who don't need to file.