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Monday Morning Business Brief

April 23, 2012, 5:55 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

Wall Street is coming off last week's mixed showing. The Dow was up 1.4 percent, while the S&P gained 0.6 percent. The Nasdaq slipped 0.4 percent for the week. Year to date, the Nasdaq is the stellar performer among the key averages with a gain of 15 percent.

  • World stocks have skidded lower Monday after budget talks in the Netherlands collapsed over the weekend. Traders also reacted after a Socialist who wants to put France's austerity plans in reverse won the first round of the country's presidential election. And oil prices fell to near $103 a barrel Monday in Asia.
  • Official data show the 17 countries that use the euro still face an uphill struggle to get a handle on their debt. The discouraging report came despite slashes in government deficits to 4.1 percent of economic output in 2011. Meanwhile, Spain's central bank says the country is now in a technical recession as the economy. It's suffered two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.
  • The head of a watchdog group says Mexico's federal government should investigate allegations of a vast bribery campaign by top executives of Wal-Mart's Mexican subsidiary to build stores across the country. Activists insist that international conventions obligate Mexico's government to get involved even though only local officials have been linked to the scandal.
  • Economic data begins to flow in earnest tomorrow. That's when we'll get figures on consumer confidence, home prices and new home sales.

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