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June 26, 2012 05:34 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

Europe's latest efforts to quell its financial crisis left investors exasperated, causing steep losses in the stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 138 points Monday to close at 12,503. That's a loss of 1.1 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 21 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,314. The Nasdaq lost 56 points, 1.9 percent, to 2,836. Futures trading suggests slight improvement this morning.

  • International stock markets traded sluggishly and mostly down today as more bad news about Spain's banks rattled investors ahead of a European summit on the region's debt crisis and economic malaise. Benchmark crude oil fell below $79 a barrel.
  • Spain's borrowing costs doubled and even tripled in an auction of 3- and 6-month bills, the first sale since the country formally asked the EU for bank bailout money. The Treasury auctioned $3.9 billion in the two maturities Tuesday, just above its target range, and demand was strong. But the cost was very high.
  • A top EU official is calling for countries that use the euro to grant a European authority the power to demand changes to their national budgets as part of a grand vision to save the currency. Other ideas in the plan from the European Council's president include issuing medium-term debt backed by all countries and a banking union with a single authority. EU leaders hold a summit Thursday.
  • The markets get a hint this morning at to how upbeat Americans are about the economy, when the Conference Board releases its Consumer Confidence Index for June. Also this morning, Standard & Poor's releases S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for April.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks
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