STOCKS AND GOLD RISE AMID UNCERTAINTY: Here's What You Need To Know

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Stocks were slightly higher amid weakness in Europe, bad data and an uncertain Fed outlook.But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: +38
NASDAQ: +14
S&P 500: +3

And now, the top stories:

  • While Asia and the FTSE (back from vacation) played catch-up to Monday’s rally, European markets declined through the day and ended mixed. European economic confidence fell to its lowest level since last summer. An Italian bond auction survived tepid demand thanks to heavy ECB buying.
  • The Case-Shiller housing index edged higher but accelerated its year-over-year decline. August consumer sentiment absolutely plummeted, reaching the lowest levels since April 2009.
  • Gold rallied nearly $50 after the Fed’s Charles Evans told CNBC he favoured more QE. The FOMC minutes, however, showed a deeply divided Fed. Although further Fed action is still likely, it may be a smaller action and there may be more dissent.
  • The Dow struggled higher, capping a near-7% rally since August 19. With low expectations for Obama’s jobs speech next week, a lot may hang on economic data including non-farm payroll on Friday. See the 14 biggest job-cutting companies >

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