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Monday Morning Business Brief

October 15, 2012, 5:39 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

As earnings reporting season began in earnest, Wall Street saw stock prices move lower last week. In the previous session, the Dow gained 2 points, now at 13,329. The Nasdaq slipped 5 points to 3,044. The S&P was down 4 points to 1,429. Futures trading suggest a higher opening today.

  • European stocks rose and some Asian markets staged a comeback today as investors looked ahead to the release of U.S. earnings reports and Softbank's $20 billion deal for Sprint showed optimism amid economic turbulence. Benchmark crude oil fell but remained above $91 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro but rose against the yen.
  • Part of the focus of the financial markets this week will be on the housing market, which has been improving. There are reports due this week on housing starts, builder sentiment and sales of previously-occupied homes.
  • Tokyo-based mobile phone company Softbank Corp. has reached a deal to acquire 70 percent of U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Nextel for $20.1 billion. It's the largest ever foreign acquisition by a Japanese company. The deal, announced Monday at a joint news conference in Tokyo, was given a green light by the boards of both companies. It still needs approval from Sprint shareholders and U.S. Regulators.
  • Economists foresee only tepid growth for the coming year, with unemployment back above 8 percent for the first half of 2013, no matter who is president. The good news: The housing market is recovering faster than expected and the economy likely won't fall off a "fiscal cliff." The new survey is from the National Association for Business Economists.

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