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Tuesday Morning Business Brief

February 28, 2012, 6:08 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

The Dow spent much of yesterday above 13,000, but a burst of selling in the final minutes drove it down a point and a half to 12,982. The Dow hasn't closed above 13,000 since May 19, 2008. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite both rose two points yesterday. Oil prices took a breather, with benchmark crude falling $1.21 to end at $108.56 per barrel in New York.

  • World stocks have risen Tuesday amid signs of a tentative recovery in the U.S. housing market and as oil retreated from recent highs. The Nikkei 225 index had its highest close since August.
  • Oil prices fell slightly Tuesday in Asia as a weak demand picture offset fears of a potential supply disruption should tensions explode between the West and Iran over its nuclear program. Analysts at Capitol Economics have issued a report predicting oil prices will likely drop back sharply this year because of weakening demand.
  • The European Central Bank has suspended the use of Greek government bonds by banks as collateral to get loans from the central bank. The move had been widely expected. The temporary step comes as Greece goes into a temporary default while it carries out a debt reduction negotiated with its creditors.
  • The Commerce Department this morning releases its durable goods report for January. Also this morning, Standard & Poor's unveils the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for
    December and the fourth quarter. And the Conference Board comes out with the Consumer Confidence Index for February.

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