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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

December 20, 2011, 5:48 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief
Stocks fell Monday with financial issues leading the way down. The Dow was down 100 points, or 0.8 percent, to 11,766. The S&P fell 14 points, while the Nasdaq shed 32 points.
  • World stock markets were mixed today as a rebound in Asia faded and European shares opened lower on debt crisis worries. In early European trading, markets in Britain, Germany and France are down. Markets in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong closed up. Dow and S&P futures also are up.
  • Oil prices climbed to near $95 a barrel today in Asia, buoyed by gains in the region's stock markets and in anticipation of improved U.S. economic data. Benchmark crude for January delivery was up 95 cents to $94.83 a barrel at late afternoon Kuala Lumpur time in electronic trading on the New York
    Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 35 cents to settle at $93.88 on Monday.
  • The typical household earning $50,000 a year will have to pay about $1,000 more in payroll taxes next year if Congress doesn't act soon. House Republicans are expected today to shelve the two-month payroll tax cut extension the Senate passed last week because they want a one-year extension. The House GOP wants Senators to return to Washington to negotiate.
  • This morning the Commerce Department releases figures on housing starts and building permits. Yesterday, a trade group reported that home builder sentiment had risen this month.

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