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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

April 24, 2012, 5:44 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

Stocks have started the week on a sour note. A string of news casting doubt on the ability of European governments to manage mounting debt help say the Dow to a 102-point loss Monday, closing at 12,927. The broader indexes also lost ground. The S&P starts the day at 1,367, while the NASDAQ is at 2,970. Futures trading suggests a higher open.

  • International stock markets rose modestly today following sharp losses the day before as investors looked to the Federal Reserve for new steps to help the U.S. economy. News about Europe's debt crisis continues to overshadow markets. Benchmark crude oil climbed above $103 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and was unchanged against the yen.
  • The Conference Board releases its monthly reading on consumer confidence this morning. There's also data due on the housing market, include the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index for February and the government's latest figures on home sales.
  • It's a big day for corporate earnings reports. First quarterly financial results are expected from 3M, Amgen, Apple, AT&T, Hershey and Reynolds American as well as US Steel, United Technologies and Novartis.
  • One analyst says it's hard to predict, but the outcome of this week's meeting of the Federal Reserve could be no change in policy. The meeting wraps up tomorrow with a statement, updated forecasts and Chairman Ben Bernanke's latest news conference. The Fed is likely to continue keeping short-term interest rates at record lows.

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