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November 14, 2011 05:55 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

Friday's strong surge for the stock market wasn't enough to lift all of the key averages into positive territory for the week. The Dow was up 1.4 percent while the S&P added 0.8 percent for the week. The Nasdaq was down slightly.
  • Asian shares rose butt European markets pulled back from early gains today as the initial relief over new governments in Greece and Italy gave way to the reality that those countries still face tremendous obstacles. Technocrats have taken over in both Athens and Rome and have promised to institute the reforms required to keep their economies afloat. Crude oil slipped back slightly but still hovered near $99 a barrel.
  • The flow of economic data doesn't begin to pick up until tomorrow. That's when the Producer Price Index is due, along with retail sales and business inventories.
  • Markets are expressing more confidence in Italy's ability to weather a financial crisis. Italian borrowing costs dropped well below dangerous levels on the prospect that leading economist Mario Monti will form a new government without politicians. And Greece's new prime minister is to present his policy platform ahead of a midweek confidence vote in parliament.
  • The tremors from Europe's financial upheaval have reached U.S. shores, rattling consumers and companies. Worries that Europe's crisis could worsen and spread are spooking investors and consumers just as the holiday shopping season nears. Some fear U.S. consumers could rein in spending. Europe's sputtering growth could further slow the U.S. economy.

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