Skepticism Surrounds Big Days on Wall Street

The past 36 hours should have been a moment of unbridled celebration for cheerleaders of American capitalism, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average had two successive record-breaking closes, and Hugo Chávez died after a two-year illness.

Venezuela's Chavez Bans Private Brokerages From Trading Currency

Venezuela%u2019s President Hugo Chavez signed a law Tuesday that bans private brokerages from trading the country%u2019s bolivar currency or public sector dollar-denominated debt. The bill, which had been approved by parliament and only required the president%u2019s signature, restricts brokerages to trading local stocks and securities issued by the private sector, Reuters reported.

Chavez Threatens to Cut Oil Exports to U.S. if Colombia Attacks

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to cut off oil exports to the United States if Colombia launches a military attack on his country. Chavez cut off diplomatic relations with Colombia last week over claims by outgoing President Alvaro Uribe that Venezuela harbors Colombian rebels. Chavez says the United States is behind the allegations.