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Libya Hits Stocks and Oil Prices for a Second Day

Stocks fell for a second straight day Wednesday and oil prices briefly crossed the $100-a-barrel mark after violence escalated in Libya and tech bellwether Hewlett-Packard delivered a disappointing outlook. The Dow lost 0.9%, the S&P 500 fell 0.6%, and the Nasdaq declined 1.2%.

Week in Preview: Retail Earnings in the Spotlight

Many of America's best-known retailers, including Walmart, Home Depot and JCPenney, will be stepping into the earnings spotlight this week. Their reports come on the heels of disappointing January retail sales numbers from the Commerce Department.

Week in Preview: Retail Earnings Due This Week

Last week, Macy's and JCPenney kicked off the retail earnings season by posting better-than-expected earnings for the most recent quarter. But the news may not continue to be so good as many more quarterly reports from retailers come in this week. Walmart, for example, is expected to buck the trend.

Retail Earnings: Summer Slowdown Will Roll Into Fall

After a stronger-than-expected spring, the doldrums have hit summer harder than usual. Merchants' second-quarter reports were shot through with disappointment over the slow economic recovery and a sense that retailers will have to work hard to boost sales the rest of 2010.

FedEx Joins a Growing List of Disappointments

Wall Street analysts still predict a record $97 in profits for the S&P 500 next year despite a lackluster economy. Expectations of massive corporate profits have propped up the stock market. That could change quickly.

An Early Christmas Gift
for Retailers

The Commerce Department's monthly sales tally for November showed unexpected pockets of strength among retailers, including car dealers and online sales. Most retail categories posted higher sales, except clothing and housewares.