While Gulf Coast residents assess the damage from the slow-moving storm, investors are evaluating the impact on stocks.
Stocks pare earlier losses and drift in a narrow range.
The ECB downplays a report about planned bond buying to stem the region's debt crisis. Aetna will buy Coventry Health in a $5.7 billion deal. Lowe's slumps on weak earnings. Apple hits a new high as Facebook is up from new low.
The news boosts shares of the home-improvement retailer over 4%.
These companies have no fear of a strengthening dollar.
For the rest of 2012, purely American companies are better positioned to deliver than multinationals.
Deere is downgraded to 'underweight,' and Home Depot is downgraded to 'neutral.'
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
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As geopolitical tensions threaten to spin out of control, investors are wondering how best to position their portfolios for the global turmoil.
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.
Occupy Wall Street bought and forgave the student loan debt of more than 2,700 Everest College students.
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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