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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

November 20, 2012, 5:38 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

Wall Street's strong advance Monday will be a tough act to follow. In the latest session, the Dow rose nearly 208 points, or 1.7 percent, to 12,796. The other key averages were up 2 to 2.2 percent. Futures trading suggests opening losses today.

  • European stocks opened lower Tuesday after a ratings agency yanked France's coveted AAA credit rating, while gains in Asia largely evaporated after the Bank of Japan concluded a policy meeting without new action. Benchmark crude oil fell below $89 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro but fell against the yen.
  • The Commerce Department today reports on October housing starts, a day after the builders' trade group reported industry sentiment rose to the highest in more than six years. Investors and others will also be monitoring a speech in New York today from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
  • European Union officials will make a fresh try today to reach a political accord on desperately needed bailout loans to Greece - an agreement that eluded them last week. Finance ministers from the 17 EU countries that use the euro will try to hammer out an agreement on the conditions attached to the aid, but they will not be able to give final approval. Parliaments in some of the countries must vote on it.
  • France's government is shrugging off the latest downgrade of its credit rating, saying it just needs time for reforms to the indebted economy to take root. Moody's Investors Service stripped Europe's No. 2 economy it of its prized AAA credit rating yesterday due to concerns over its prospects for economic growth and its exposure to Europe's financial crisis.

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