Lingering worries about Europe weigh on stocks
NEW YORK -- Continued worries about Europe's lingering debt crisis overshadowed a small rebound in oil prices and pushed stocks slightly lower on Tuesday.
Oil rose nearly $2 to $99.59 per barrel after major banks raised their forecasts for crude prices. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley analysts predicted a rise in global demand would drive oil prices higher later this year.
Stocks swung between gains and losses throughout the day, with Chevron and other energy companies posting the largest gains.
--The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.05 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 12,356.21.
--The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.09 point to 1,316.28.
--The Nasdaq fell 12.74, or 0.5 percent, to 2,746.16.
New home sales up, but pace of activity sluggish
WASHINGTON -- More people bought new homes for a second straight month in April, a hopeful sign. Still, sales remain far below a pace that would signal a turnaround for the depressed housing market.
New-home sales rose 7.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 323,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. A healthy real estate market would produce about 700,000 new-home sales a year.
People have little incentive to buy new homes, in part because they're comparatively expensive. The median price of a new home rose more than 2 percent from March to $217,900. New-home prices are more than 30 percent higher the median price of re-sales -- twice the normal markup.
Casinos betting on finding growth in online world
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Internet gambling is the future of the casino industry, whether it's approved at the federal or state level, a panel of online and brick-and-mortar casino executives said Tuesday.
Speaking at the East Coast Gaming Congress, executives from two online betting organizations and Caesars Entertainment said the Internet provides the gambling industry its best opportunity for growth. But the prospect of a federal law permitting it appears dim in light of recent federal raids on online gambling sites.
Richard Bronson, chairman of U.S. Digital Gaming, predicts individual states will approve online gambling soon.
Bookseller announces simpler Nook e-reader
NEW YORK -- The lighter, slimmer, cheaper new version of Barnes & Noble's e-reader has a black-and-white touch screen and aims squarely at the "grandma" demographic -- or at least those craving a simpler e-book reader.
The latest Nook's price tag -- $139 -- is a sign that the book seller also is aiming to compete with Amazon and Borders Group Inc. on e-reader prices.
The focus on simplicity means the new Nook's battery can last two months, CEO William Lynch said at an event in New York to announce the device.
The new Nook, to be available June 10, is Wi-Fi only, has a 6-inch touch screen and can hold up to 1,000 digital books. It features the latest E Ink technology, which significantly minimizes flashing that can occur as a user pages through an e-book. Pages seem to melt into each other on the new Nook.
Court OKs settlement in BofA's overdraft lawsuit
NEW YORK -- A Florida court has given preliminary approval to Bank of America Corp.'s $410 million settlement of a federal lawsuit accusing the bank of charging excessive overdraft fees.
The bank will place $410 million in an escrow account that will be divided among 1 million customers who were charged the high fees. According to a court filing Monday, the Southern District Court of Florida granted preliminary approval for the settlement. A hearing has been set for Nov. 7 for final approval.