The Dow ends up 13, but the major averages fade in late trading. Apple hits new highs. August home sales climb 7.8% over July. Crude oil drops below $92. Cracker Barrel boosts guidance. Norfolk Southern issues a warning.
Google, IBM, Intel and Microsoft will post after the close. All face challenges in 2012.
A volatile 2011 may lead to a repeat performance in 2012. Investors may see some of that volatility in the week ahead. Important reports are due on jobs, manufacturing and auto sales.
Oracle shares slump on weak earnings and hit competitor shares, especially IBM. Existing-home sales may be stabilizing after sales from 2007 prove worse than thought. Nike results cheer. Is Research In Motion a takeover target?
November housing starts are up 9% from October. Energy and metals stocks lead the market higher. Nike earnings cheer investors; Oracle disappoints. AT&T moves up after T-Mobile breakup.
The software and athletic equipment giants report earnings this week. Existing-home sales data since 2007 will be trimmed. Boeing will fuel a strong report on durable goods orders. North Korea's Kim Il Jong's death roils Asian markets.
The blue chips plunge, then take off, after the central bank says a weak economy will keep rates low well into the future. Bank of America rebounds from steep losses. Apple's market cap briefly beats Exxon's.
The blue chips fall 60, but the Greek news lets them regain most of their early losses, driven by economic worries. Crude oil falls below its 2010 finish after the US says it will sell oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Exxon and Chevron sag.
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The offering could become the second-biggest this year if underwriters exercise an option to buy more shares.
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.
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.