Apple shares weighed on the Nasdaq, while the blue chips gained ground. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 83 points at 13,034. The S&P rose 2 points to 1,409, while the Nasdaq was down 23 points to 2,974. Futures were marginally higher this morning.
- International stock markets were mixed today as investors assessed President Barack Obama's comments that reaching a budget compromise to prevent the U.S. economy from hurtling downward was "not that tough" and could even be done quickly. Benchmark crude oil is unchanged, hovering below $88 per barrel. The dollar rose against the euro and the yen.
- On today's economic calendar, the Labor Department releases the weekly jobless claims. That's ahead of tomorrow's monthly unemployment report. Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rate averages.
- It's round 2 today in the epic $1 billion patent fight between the world's top two smartphone makers. Apple and Samsung renew their rivalry today in a federal courtroom as Samsung seeks to overturn an Aug. 24 jury verdict that found the Korean tech titan ripped off Apple Inc.'s designs for its iPhone and iPad. Apple wants a bigger award.
- The European Central Bank is unlikely to offer any further help for Europe's sagging economy today after already lowering interest rates to record lows and calming the region's debt crisis with its plan to buy the bonds of heavily indebted governments. After a year that has seen $1.3 trillion in emergency loans to banks, a rate cut, and President Mario Draghi's vow to "do whatever it takes" to rescue the euro, some analysts say the ECB may consider itself finished with efforts to rescue the eurozone economy.
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