Gold rose, moving away from a three-week low hit in the previous session, as the dollar and equities eased after recent rallies.» Read More
Stocks closed mostly lower, dragged down by higher energy prices and defiance from Iran. Technology rallied on strength in computer chips, giving the Nasdaq a boost. "Investors are somewhat cautious at these market levels," Michael Sheldon, Chief Market Strategist at Spencer Clarke, told CNBC.com.
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This week HSBC Holdings admitted that it would be spending more money than originally anticipated to cover subprime loan defaults -- $1.76 billion more than analysts predicted. Now there’s concern over the mortgage-backed securities that go along with these riskier credit advances, and even more concern over the housing market in general.
Stocks finished lower as new worries about the mortgage lending market depressed financial shares and a late surge in oil prices drove energy stocks higher. "Crude rallied 4% in 10 minutes and it just turned energy stocks on a dime," said Michael Driscoll, Senior Managing Director in Equity Trading at Bear Stearns.
Europe's biggest bank, HSBC Holdings, said its charge for bad debts would be more than $10.5 billion for 2006, some 20% above analysts' average forecasts, due to problems in its U.S. mortgage book.
Shares of sub-prime mortgage lenders fall as HSBC warns that bad debts from lower-quality loans will hurt its results.
China's banking regulator has received eight applications from foreign banks for local registration, which it would begin processing Monday, a first step in granting national treatment.
Oracle boosted its offer for India's i-flex solutions by 42%, with the aim to buy an additional 35% of the banking software provider for $1.3 billion.
Stocks closed higher following mostly positive news about the U.S. economy and gains from several major blue-chip companies.