Stocks are coming off a losing week. The Dow industrials dropped 87 points, or 0.7 percent, to 13,158. The S-and-P 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,411. And the Nasdaq was down nearly 7 points, or 0.2 percent, at 3,070. But trading is extremely light in a typically slow August, without much to influence trading.
- World markets stalled today as the absence of action by central banks in the U.S. and China dismayed investors while Apple's court victory in a high-stakes patent dispute sent shares of Samsung Electronics into a tailspin. Benchmark crude oil rose above $97 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.
- A new assessment of the important consumer sector comes this week. The Conference Board tomorrow will release its Consumer Confidence Index for August. Other new data this week will include home prices, home sales and an update on the overall economy with the second-quarter gross domestic product and the Fed's Beige Book on regional economic conditions.
- The federal government says oil and gas operators are evacuating offshore platforms and rigs that could wind up in Tropical Storm Isaac's path through the Gulf of Mexico. Isaac is expected to become a Category 2 hurricane before making landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
- Most Americans say go ahead and raise taxes if it will save Social Security benefits for future generations. And raise the retirement age, if you have to. A new Associated Press-GfK poll on public attitudes toward the nation's largest federal program finds that both options are preferable to cutting monthly benefits, even for people who are years away from applying for them.
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