The Dow heads into Wednesday trading on a streak of eight straight increases. Yesterday it gained almost three points to close at 14,450. The broader indexes were both down Tuesday with the S&P 500 slipping 4 points to 1,552 and the Nasdaq losing 10 ½ points to close at 3,242.
- Asian stock markets ran out of steam Wednesday after a sharp drop in Britain's industrial production and a warning from the head of Germany's central bank that the euro debt crisis isn't over. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said Tuesday that the European Union needs to move ahead with reforms to keep troubles in the banking system from dragging down government finances.
- Oil prices rose for a fifth straight trading session Wednesday despite expectations a report on weekly U.S. crude stocks will show ample inventories. enchmark oil for April delivery was up 19 cents to $92.73 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contact rose 48 cents to finish at $92.54 per barrel on the Nymex on Tuesday.
- The Commerce Department releases retail sales data for February this morning. Economists are forecasting a slight gain from January. The retail sales report is the government's first look at consumer spending, which drives about 70 percent of economic activity.
- The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has moved a step closer to flying passengers again. Yesterday the Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing's plan to redesign the plane's fire-plagued lithium-ion batteries. The Dreamliner fleet has been grounded worldwide following a battery fire on a jet that was parked in Boston and then a smoking battery that led to an emergency landing of another 787 in Japan.