- Will the Dow hit a new record high today? Investors aren't so sure after an early rally faded on Wall Street yesterday, pulling the Dow slightly lower and a bit further away from reaching a record. The Dow ended down nearly 21 points to close at 14,054. That's 110 points below its record close in October 2007. The S&P 500 was down a point and the Nasdaq dropped 2 points. Today's opening could produce mixed results.
- It's a mixed bag on international stock markets today, swinging between gains and losses as fresh data shows China's manufacturing weakening and investors grow wary over prospects for resolving a U.S. budget impasse. Benchmark crude oil fell below $92 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.
- The Commerce Department releases two reports today. One is on personal income and spending for January and the other concerns construction spending for the first month of 2013. Also today, the Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for February. Also today, automakers will release vehicle sales for February.
- No breakthroughs are expected today when President Barack Obama meets with the top bipartisan congressional leadership at the White House to talk about looming, mandatory and steep budget cuts. For Obama, today's session marks his first opportunity to spell out his 10-year, $1.5 trillion deficit reduction plan in a face-to-face meeting with congressional allies and adversaries.
- Japan says its chronic deflation persisted in January, with consumer prices falling 0.2 percent from a year earlier, though the employment situation showed a modest improvement. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in December vowing to end Japan's long ordeal with deflation, or falling prices, that tend to discourage business investment and weaken growth.
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