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November 21, 2011 05:59 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

A holiday-shortened trading week looms, with the market coming off its worst weekly loss since September. For the week, the Dow was down 358 points or 2.9 percent. The S&P fell 48 points, while the Nasdaq dropped 4 percent.
  • Fears that talks to reduce the U.S. deficit will collapse and continuing European debt worries are pushing global markets into negative territory today. Japan's Nikkei closed 0.3 percent lower, its lowest closing since March 2009. European shares also are down.
  • Wall Street is set to lose ground today, with Dow Jones and S&P 500 futures both lower. Oil prices fell to near $97 a barrel Monday in Asia. Benchmark crude for January delivery was down 68 cents at $96.99 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude was down 16 cents at $107.40 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.
  • Nobody's holding out any hope of a last-minute surprise agreement to cut $1.2 trillion in deficits over the next decade. The special bipartisan "supercommittee" of Congress is expected to call it quits today, with nothing to show for the two months of talks. No agreement means automatic spending reductions across-the-board, starting 2013.
  • Forecasters don't see a recession in the immediate future for the United States -- but they also don't see growth that would be strong enough to make much of a dent in the unemployment rate. The top forecasters with the National Association for Business Economics predict a growth rate of 2.4 percent for next year, up just slightly from what they believe will be the 2011 rate.