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.
The major averages rise for the second straight day on guidance from Lennar and a strong pending-home-sales report. Facebook slips on mixed analyst ratings. Arena Pharmaceuticals soars after its new weight-loss drug wins an FDA OK.
But the Dow crawls back nearly to break even as the Federal Reserve extends a small stimulus move because of job growth and European worries. It promises more action if conditions worsen. Asian stocks drop on a weak China manufacturing report.
The week ahead starts with Apple's plans on what to do with its cash. It features earnings from Oracle, Nike, Lululemon, FedEx, Tiffany and General Mills. A host of housing reports may give stocks a push. Watch interest rates and oil prices.
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 apparel retailer will shutter 189 stores by the end of 2013. While profits at home are getting squeezed, the company sees better opportunities abroad, especially in China.
Analysts don't foresee home prices returning to their 2007 levels until 2020, and that's the optimistic view.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2014 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.
Like many companies this winter, the fast-food giant blamed a drop in same-store sales on the weather. But could its problems be bigger than a snowbank?
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 self-employed have several ways to save more for retirement in tax-advantaged accounts. Here are 3 of the most popular options.
Even when they have a plan for their refund check from Uncle Sam, Americans often don't realize how they actually spend the windfall.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'