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.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 6, 2012 11:28AM

By MSN Money editors

 

Dear readers: After a long and successful run, the daily Market Dispatch column has been discontinued. We suggest you visit:

 

Our News Center for the latest business and market news.

 

Our Market Report page featuring the latest from Briefing.com.

 

You'll now find Charley Blaine's stock and market insights in our new Money Now section, and you can bookmark this page for an index of all his blog posts.

 

Thanks for reading, MSN Money

 

The selling offsets decent earnings from Cisco Systems and Home Depot. Techs fall, led by Microsoft and Intel. Michael Kors rises. Gold and oil slip. The major averages have fallen more than 6.6% since mid-September.

By Charley Blaine Nov 13, 2012 5:45PM
Updated: 10:20 p.m. ET

(Reuters) Stocks fell back in late trading today as continuing worries about the effects of the fiscal cliff on the domestic economy pulled the major averages lower and offset strong earnings from Home Depot (HD).

Cisco Systems (CSCO) shares were up 7.4% after hours to $18.12. Fiscal-first quarter earnings of 48 cents a share were up 11.6% from a year ago and beat Street estimates by 2 cents. Revenue was up 6% to $11.9 billion, beating the Street estimate of $11.8 billion.

But it was the kind of sell-off you don't like to see. The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) were up as many as 83 points on the Home Depot news -- and lost all of the gain and then some. Financial and technology shares led the market lower. Also weighing on the market: a rising dollar against the euro, which pushed commodity prices and interest rates lower.

Microsoft (MSFT), down 90 cents to $28.14, weighed heavily on technology stocks after the company announced that Steven Sinofsky, who led the development of its Windows 8 operating system, is leaving the company. Sinofsky had been considered a front runner to succeed Steve Ballmer as CEO. (Microsoft is the publisher of MSN Money.)  

The major averages end the day little changed in light Veterans Day trading. Tuesday's market may open lower. Titanium Metals and Jefferies Group jump on merger announcements. Gilead Sciences rises on hopes for hepatitus treatment. Apple slips again.

By Charley Blaine Nov 12, 2012 5:19PM
Updated: 3:32 a.m., Wednesday

(Reuters) - Stocks pushed higher Monday as bargain-hunters emerged after last week's selloff, though concerns of a drawn-out battle over the "fiscal cliff" put a cap on gains.

Barclays cut its year-end target for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) to 1,325 from 1,395, citing the government spending cuts and tax increases that will take effect early next year unless Congress acts before then.

The S&P 500 dropped 2.4% last week, the worst week for the index since June. The drop was partly propelled by concerns about whether there will be a timely solution to avoid the "fiscal cliff," the combination of tax increases and federal spending cuts set to take effect on Dec. 31. 

The major averages see small gains but fall for the week as sparring begins between the White House and House Speaker Boehner on fixing the fiscal cliff. Apple rallies after three big losses. Disney sags. Kayak jumps after merger with Priceline.com.

By Charley Blaine Nov 9, 2012 2:26PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 7:38 p.m. ET

After two nasty days of declines, the stock market struggled to finish ahead today. It succeeded with very small gains, but the major averages still had their worst weekly performance in five months.

If you want to thank someone for at least halting the losses this week, thank consumers, who are more confident about the economy. Thank Apple (AAPL), which rallied today after three straight declines.

Thank Priceline.com (PCLN), which is buying Kayak Software (KYAK), operator of the Kayak travel site, for some $1.8 billion. Kayak shares were up $8.63 to $39.67.

The wild card for the market today has been Washington and the fiscal cliff -- the mixture of government spending cuts and tax hikes set to take effect Jan. 1. Remarks today by President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner suggested there remain big differences in approach. Big enough, in fact, the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) briefly fell into the red after Obama said a solution to the fiscal cliff had to be balanced -- some tax increases and spending cuts. Boehner opposes any tax increases. 

Investors worry about the economy, the fiscal cliff and Europe. Disney and Nordstrom earnings disappoint. Apple continues its slide since September. McDonald's monthly sales fall for the first time in 9 years. Gold and crude oil move higher.

By Charley Blaine Nov 8, 2012 2:23PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 10:40 p.m. ET

Stocks finished at their lowest levels since the summer today as another slide in Apple (AAPL) shares pulled tech stocks lower and McDonald's (MCD) reported a surprising decline in October sales.

Apple was down $20.25 to $537.75, its seventh loss in the last 11 days, on worries that production problems are limiting iPhone 5 availability. There's talk investors are starting to ask what the company's next big wonder product might be. McDonald's was off $1.73 to $85.13 and was the biggest weight on the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU), which fell for the second day in a row.

The major indexes all ended the day below their 200-day moving averages, which are key indicators of investor confidence.

After the close, shares of Walt Disney (DIS) were off 97 cents to $49.07. The company reported fiscal-fourth-quarter earnings of 68 cents a share, up from 59 cents a year ago and in line with Street estimates. Revenue of $10.78 billion, up from $10.43 billion, missed the Street estimate of $10.92 billion. Nordstrom (JWN) shares also were falling after hours as earnings of 71 cents a share missed the Street estimate of 72 cents.  

Investors fear failure to fix the fiscal cliff will lead to recession. European stocks slump after ECB President Draghi says even Germany is weakening. Apple has fallen 20% since September. Bank and energy stocks fall. Oil and gold slip.

By Charley Blaine Nov 7, 2012 1:45PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 8:32 p.m. ET

A day after President Barack Obama won a second term, stocks suffered their worst beating in nearly a year.

Late selling caused to the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) to finish down more than 300 points, its largest loss since Nov. 9, 2011. The blue-chip index ended the day below 13,000 for the first time since Aug. 2, and the major U.S. averages were all down at least 2.4%.

Bank stocks were the weakest sector in part because it's likely the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill will remain largely intact. In addition, Elizabeth Warren, a critic of many U.S. banking practices, won a seat in the U.S. Senate. JPMorgan Chase (JPM), a critic of bank regulation, was down $2.32 to $40.56. Health insurance stocks were lower because the  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Reform Act -- aka Obamacare -- is likely to stay in place.

Meanwhile, oil prices fell back sharply in part because of worries about global demand. Europe became a worry after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said he expected no change to the weak eurozone economy in the near future. Worse, he said, the weakness has begun to affect Germany. European stocks immediately sold off -- and sharply, too. The dollar rose against the euro and British pound. 

The blue chips rise thanks to gains for Caterpillar, Boeing and United Technologies. Crude oil tops $88; gold moves over $1,700. Intel rises despite a report Apple may stop using its chips. Chipotle jumps.

By Charley Blaine Nov 6, 2012 2:48PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 8:40 p.m. ET

As Americans went to the polls today, Wall Street enjoyed a big rally, with the major averages finishing higher for the third time in four days.

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) finished up more than 130 points and, in two days, made back all of their losses on Friday in a rally built on gains for big energy, industrial and financial stocks.

 AT&T (T) and Intel (INTC) were the only Dow stocks not to finish in the black. Intel was hit by a report that Apple (AAPL) is thinking about replacing Intel-made chips in its Macintosh computers.

Oil prices were higher on worries that Superstorm Sandy has cut into domestic supplies of crude oil and refined energy products. The Energy Department will report on U.S. inventories on Wednesday. Gold (-GC) moved above $1,700 for the first time in three days. And the U.S. dollar is holding its own. 

The major indexes move ahead in afternoon trading. Apple rises after selling 3 million iPads over the weekend. Crude oil and gold move higher. Investment bank KBW agrees to merge with Stifel Financial. Toyota profits jump.

By Charley Blaine Nov 5, 2012 2:01PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 7:56 p.m. ET

Stocks closed with small gains today, the last full session before Election Day. It was a day of low volume as many investors and traders began to hunker down, awaiting election returns.

There was some strength in technology shares, in part because Apple (AAPL) said it sold 3 million iPad tablet devices over the weekend -- a possible signal of a strong holiday season. Apple finished up $7.82 to $584.62; the shares had reached as high as $587.77.

Housing stocks were higher, although there was no news. But investors appear to be betting that the rebound in housing activity that began this year will continue in 2013 regardless of who wins the presidential election on Tuesday.

Gold (-GC) settled up $8 to $1,683.29 an ounce, and crude oil (-CL) in New York closed  at $85.65 a barrel, up 79 cents. Brent crude, which many traders believe is a better measure of global demand, also was higher.  

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