Morning Business Brief
August 24, 2010, 7:40 AM
- Stocks ended lower in Monday trading. The Dow fell 39 points to 10,174. The S&P was down 4 points, while the Nasdaq dropped 39 points.
- World stock markets retreated today. The Nikkei was down 1.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 1.1 percent, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.4 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.1 percent. Markets in India, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand also fell. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 percent. France's CAC-40 slid 1.5 percent, Germany's DAX tumbled 1 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 lost 1.1 percent. Dow futures were down 0.8 percent and broader S&P futures were off 0.9 percent.
- Oil prices sank to near $72 a barrel Tuesday in Asia as regional markets fell amid fresh concerns about the pace of the global economic recovery. Benchmark crude for October delivery was down 84 cents at $72.26 a barrel at midday Kuala Lumpur time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 72 cents to settle at $73.10 on Monday, after hitting a high of $74.88 earlier in the day.
- The housing market is taking a turn for the worse. Tuesday's report from the National Association of Realtors about sales of previously occupied homes is expected to show sales plunged in July. Economists are predicting as much as a 26 percent drop from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.95 million. That would be the worst month for sales in more than a decade.
- The U.S. government has beefed up its investigation into Toyota's Corolla and Matrix vehicles because of a possible engine defect that might can cause them to stall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it's raising its preliminary evaluation to a more serious scrutiny, called an engineering analysis. It'll look into problems that could cause engines to stall, not start or to shift gears harshly.
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