MarketWatch Top 10 stories Dec. 3 - 7
For the week, though, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 0.8% and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) rose 1.1%, marking the sixth consecutive week of gains for both benchmarks. The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) fell 6.72 points, or 0.3%, to 2,703.17 on Friday, for a weekly gain of 1.9%.
In other markets, gold and crude futures both shed 3.7% this week.
In the Treasury market, 2-year yields are little changed from 0.60% for the week; 10-year yields are up from 3.30% last Friday and 30-year bond yields have increased from 4.42% a week ago.
Also please remember to watch our Week Ahead videos for Europe, Asia and the United States.
Asia Week Ahead: Rate decision and trade data
Europe Week Ahead: Retailers in focus
U.S. Week Ahead: Auto show, Intel
Bank stocks fell sharply Friday as the highest court in Massachusetts reportedly ruled that two foreclosures were invalid because banks didn't show they owned the mortgages. The decision is the latest setback for banks after some lenders halted foreclosures in 2010, following claims they didn't have proper documentation. The court upheld an earlier ruling against Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and U.S. Bancorp (USB), according to the reports. Read MarketWatch coverage of Mass. court ruling
In a scathing report published late Wednesday, a U.S. presidential commission blamed the worst oil spill in the country's history on a "failure of management" by BP PLC (BP), Halliburton Co. (HAL) and Transocean Ltd. (RIG) In an advance chapter of its upcoming full report, the National Oil Spill Commission said the April 20 blowout of BP's Macondo well, which killed 11 rig workers and spewed nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over three months, could be traced to a "single overarching failure." Read MarketWatch story of oil-well blowout report
As tablets and smartphones dominated the headlines at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, some analysts say the companies rapidly building devices to compete in a market dominated by Apple Inc. (AAPL) are still missing half the story. It is clear, for now, which company is the tablet market's dominant force, but what's less clear is where that force will lead the market. Read MarketWatch coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show
If December was any indication, Wall Street is on track for a great year in 2011. So if you had just one pick for 2011, one single stock to buy now and sell 365 days later, what would you pick? That's exactly the question I put to 10 of Wall Street's sharpest minds — well, nine and then my own — and I wasn't surprised to find a common theme. Namely, that the biggest potential lies in tech and financials. Want specifics? Then here they are: The 10 top stock picks for 2011 according to 10 different Wall Street experts. Read Outside the Box guest commentary from Jeff Reeves of InvestorPlace.com
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) on Wednesday said it has agreed to buy Atheros Communications Inc. (ATHR) in a $3.1 billion deal that analysts say could boost the company's position in the increasingly competitive mobility-chip market. San Diego, Calif.-based Qualcomm said it will pay $45 a share in cash for Atheros, a San Jose, Calif.-based maker of networking and communications chips. Read about this week's big chip sector acquisition on MarketWatch
Gold futures ended a roller-coaster Friday in the red, battling a rising dollar but supported by heightened buying interest after the week's price correction. Gold for February delivery retreated $2.80, or 0.2%, to $1,368.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.That put weekly losses at 3.7%, gold's worst weekly performance in six months. It lost 3.9% in early July. Read MarketWatch coverage of gold's slide this week
Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) lifted the wraps on its highly anticipated tablet Wednesday evening, but was unable to offer a full demonstration of the device, saying the software was not quite ready. But the great anticipation was for the new tablet, which will be the first to use the Android 3.0 operating system developed by Google Inc. (GOOG) The news follows Motorola's split into two separately traded companies earlier this week. Read MarketWatch coverage of Motorola
Taking care of an aging or ailing relative with heath-care issues can be stressful and confusing, but a growing number of free or cheap smartphone apps aim to help caregivers keep track of medication dosages, nutritional requirements and other daily health-care needs. Here's some advice from health and technology experts on selecting a health-care app and platform, plus five useful apps to provide optimum care. Read MarketWatch story on apps for caregivers
The number of jobs in the U.S. economy today is about the same as 10 years ago. That's already bad news, but combine it with an ever-growing population competing for those positions, and you see why the unemployment rate has been hovering around 10%. Though nonfarm payrolls hit about 138 million in 2007, this measure, which includes government and private-sector positions, has shown almost no change over the 10 years from 2001 through 2010. Payrolls started 2001 at about 132 million and, after a gain of about 6 million, thudded back down to about 131 million at the end of 2010. Read MarketWatch story of a decade of a stagnant job market
Facebook Inc. intends to start publicly disclosing internal financial information or stage an initial public offering of its shares by April 2012. The Wall Street Journal reported that according to a new private-placement memo being distributed to potential investors in Facebook, the company intends to cross a 500-shareholder limit this year, which could force it to begin publicly disclosing financial data as soon as early 2012. However, the document also makes clear that Facebook may already be publicly traded by that point, according to the report. Read MarketWatch coverage of Facebook's plans