- Stocks closed mixed on Wednesday with McDonald's dragging down the Dow. The Dow fell back below 14,000 shedding 35 points to end at 13,982. The S&P 500 was up less than a point at 1,520 and the Nasdaq rose 10 points to 3,196. McDonald's was the biggest decliner in the Dow, losing $1.10 to $94.
- World stock markets moved cautiously higher Thursday, despite some downbeat news from Europe's two biggest economies. Official figures show Germany's economy shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012, while economic growth ground to a halt in France. The EU's statistics office says the eurozone economy shrank by 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012. Still, the key stock indexes in Britain, France and Germany are all edging higher in early trading. Asian markets were mostly higher too.
- American Airlines and US Airways say they're merging in a deal they value at $11 billion. The combined carrier will be the world's biggest airline. It will be called American Airlines but will be run by US Airways CEO Doug Parker. The deal reduces the number of major U.S. airlines to four.
- The number of U.S. homes entering foreclosure fell in January. Foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac says the 11 percent drop from December was a result of state laws aimed at stemming foreclosures that went into effect in California at the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, completed foreclosures dropped 5 percent drop from December.
- Jobs and housing are up on the economic calendar today. The Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims this morning and then Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.
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