- Stocks dropped sharply today as investors worry about the political situation in Italy and its economic reforms. The Dow plunged 216 points to close at 13,784, a loss of 1.6 percent and the biggest drop since November. The S&P 500 dropped 28 points to 1,488 and the Nasdaq lost 46 points to 3,116.
- Oil prices have leveled off after a month-long surge. Benchmark crude fell 2 cents to $93.11.The national average for gasoline stands at $3.777 a gallon, down a fraction from $3.781 on Friday. The price at the pump is still up about 44 cents from a month ago. Last year the price of gas peaked at $3.94 a gallon on April 5.
- President Barack Obama says looming spending cuts are already affecting the economy. He says companies are preparing layoff notices and families are preparing to cut back on expenses. Despite the urgent rhetoric there's no indication the White House and congressional Republicans are actively negotiating a deal to avoid the so-called sequester ahead of the end of the week deadline.
- A BP lawyer says other companies that worked on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling project made crucial mistakes that led to the deaths of 11 workers and the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill. During his opening statement today, BP attorney Mike Brock acknowledged that the London-based company also made mistakes and "errors in judgment" before its well blew out. But Brock also said Deepwater Horizon owner Transocean Ltd. and cement contractor Halliburton were also at fault.
- Hewlett-Packard is selling its webOS software to South Korean electronics company LG Electronics. The deal rids HP of the centerpiece of its ill-fated, $1.8 billion purchase of Palm Inc. three years ago.
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