Stocks were on the rise on Wall Street yesterday. The Dow gained 73 points, or 0.6 percent, to 12,874. The S&P rose 9 points to 1,352, while the Nasdaq surged nearly 28 points to 2,931. Futures trading suggests losses at this morning's open.
- International stock markets sagged today after ratings agency Moody's slapped credit downgrades on six European Union countries due to the region's weak economic outlook anduncertain attempts to implement reforms. Benchmark crude oil hovered above $100 per barrel while the dollar rose against the euro and the yen.
- Today's economic calendar features a look at January retail sales, being released by the Commerce Department. Also, the government reports on business inventories for December.
- A Chinese company says it will ask customs officials to block imports and exports of Apple iPads in a dispute over ownership of the name for the tablet computers. A lawyer for Shenzhen Proview Technology says the company is preparing a request to block iPad shipments on the grounds that they violate Proview's ownership of the iPad trademark in China.
- Google's $12.5 billion bid to buy cellphone maker Motorola Mobility has won approvals from U.S. and European antitrust regulators. That moves Google a major step closer to completing the biggest deal in its 13-year history. Google now needs to clear regulatory hurdles in China, Taiwan and Israel. Google's relationship with China's ruling party has been on shaky ground since the company blamed hackers in that country for breaking into its computers two years ago.