Stocks fell in a negative reaction to the word Congress was failing to come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts. The Dow finished down 249 points, or 2.1 percent, at 11,547. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 23 points, while the Nasdaq fell 49 points.
- The collapse of debt reduction talks in the U.S. has weighed on Asian stock markets today, but hasn't stifled a rebound in Europe. Markets were down in China, Taiwan and Japan, which closed at its lowest point since March 2009. But shares in Britain, Germany and France are up. Dow Jones and S&P futures also are up.
- Oil prices rose to near $98 a barrel Tuesday in Asia as traders looked to the latest U.S. crude supply reports for signs demand may be improving. Benchmark crude for January delivery was up 72 cents at $97.64 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 75 cents to settle at $96.92 in New York on Monday.
- Trading temporarily was suspended on Egypt's stock exchange today after the broader index slumped 5 percent. Egypt's stock market has taken a beating for three consecutive days as protests and violence in the capital raise questions about the country's stability before a pivotal parliamentary election.
- Microsoft's Bill Gates returns to the witness stand today to defend his company against a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit by Utah-based Novell Inc. Novell claims Gates duped it into thinking he would include its WordPerfect writing program in the new Windows system, then backed out. Gates testified that technical features had to be dropped in Windows 95 that would no longer support WordPerfect.
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