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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

January 8, 2013, 5:38 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

Stocks are coming off a lackluster day, following last week's surge. The S&P 500 index reached a five-year high on Friday but dropped five points Monday. The Dow lost 51 points to close at 13,384, while the Nasdaq composite fell three. Wall street appears headed for losses at this morning's opening.

  • International stock markets headed lower today as investors turned cautious before U.S. earnings season kicks off this week. Aluminum producer Alcoa will unofficially launch the reporting season for the fourth quarter of 2012 today. Benchmark crude oil fell to just above $93 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro but fell against the yen.
  • There are no major economic indicators expected today, but investors can shift focus to corporate profits. Aluminum producer Alcoa launches the reporting season for the fourth quarter of 2012 after the market closes.
  • Samsung Electronics, the world's largest technology company by revenue, expects record earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 as shoppers continued to snap up its smartphones and tablets. The company says its operating profit for the October-December quarter would be about $8.3 billion, up 89 percent from a year earlier and higher than expectations. Full results come at the end of January.
  • Unemployment in the 17 European Union countries that use the euro is still headed in the wrong direction. It reached a record 11.8 percent in November as the number of jobless in the 27-country EU topped 26 million for the first time since the financial crisis began three years ago. Unemployment in Greece is up to 26 percent. The figures illustrate the task facing EU leaders to repair the region's economies.

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