Stocks finished in positive territory today, riding hopes that grim new housing numbers will lead the Fed to cut interest rates this week. "The main event for the week will be the Fed-rate decision on Wednesday," a strategist tells MarketWatch. The Dow was up 176.72 to 12,383.89, the Nasdaq 23.71 to 2,349.91, and the S&P 23.36 to 1,353.97.
Financials led the way, with American Express up 2.7% and Citigroup up 2.1%. Meanwhile, the biggest loser of the day was McDonald's, which declined 6.7% after a fourth-quarter reports showed profits up but slow growth. The decline demonstrates investor worries about consumer spending, reports the Wall Street Journal.