Investors hope yesterday's fade in late trading was just an anomaly, and not a new trend. They'll be looking for a quick start today when trading resumes after the market lost momentum in the final half hour. That kept the Dow Jones industrial average from finishing just short its record close on Jan.15. Futures point to slippage this morning
- International stock markets were mostly lower today amid jitters about China's housing market and weakness in the country's currency. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell to just over $102 a barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and was little changed against the euro.
- Among major business and economic reports today, Standard & Poor's releases the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for December and the fourth quarter. And the Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for February. Among the quarterly reports due are those from Home Depot Inc. and Macy's Inc.
- U.S. car owners are carrying higher auto loan balances but still making timely monthly payments. Date released by credit reporting agency TransUnion show that auto loan debt per borrower grew 4.4 percent, to $16,769 in the final quarter of 2013, compared to a year earlier. It was the 11th consecutive quarter to post an annual increase.
- Mt. Gox may have fallen. The website of the major Bitcoin exchange is offline today amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft, a new setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the virtual currency. A "crisis strategy" report shared widely online that purports to be an internal Mt. Gox document says more than 740,000 Bitcoins are missing -- with a potential value of $350 million in losses.