Stocks Struggle for Opening Gains

Stocks opened little changed on Tuesday ahead of a meeting of European finance ministers on the region’s credit crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average latelyrose 35.80 points to 11,558.81. The S&P 500 Index was up 4.18 points at 1,196.73. The Nasdaq Composite gained 4.51 points to 2,531.85.

U.S. home prices took a fall in September, according to a key index released Tuesday, ending a string of five monthly gains as the housing market continues to struggle to generate momentum. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index fell 0.6% in September to take the year-on-year decline in home prices to 3.6%.

Research In Motion Ltd. saw its shares rise more than 7% to $17.70 on Tuesday morning after the company announced a new service to allow corporate customers to manage mobile devices using the BlackBerry operating system as well as rival platforms Android and iOS.

The parent company for American and American Eagle airlines filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday to help reduce labor costs and shed debt. The move will allow the company to re-open existing labor deals that are costly compared to peers, especially when it comes to pensions. It will also allow AMR to renegotiate aircraft leasing contracts, such as those for its fleet of gas-guzzling MD-80s.

Facebook, the world’s largest Internet social network, is preparing for a initial public stock offering next year. Facebook is exploring raising $10 billion, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday. It hopes the offering will value the company at more than $100 billion, according to WSJ, which first reported the story.

Oil prices fell below $98 a barrel Tuesday in Asia as European leaders raced to contain the continent’s debt crisis and keep the euro currency block intact. Benchmark crude for January delivery was down 47 cents to $97.74 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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