Stocks Put in a Mixed Early Trading

U.S. stocks began mildly higher but turned negative on Tuesday as Wall Street hoped a downgrade warning of the euro-area’s credit from rating agency Standard & Poor’s would pressure action at a European Union summit this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 7.91 points to 12,105.74. The S&P 500 Index was off 1.89 points to 1,255.19. The Nasdaq Composite was down 1.69 points to 2,654.07.

Standard & Poor’s said Monday that it placed 15 members of the euro currency union on review for a possible downgrade as the debt crisis in the eurozone continues to worsen. The blanket warning applies to AAA-rated nations such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Luxembourg, the U.S.-based credit rating agency said in a press release.

A rate cut in Australia and lowered economic growth estimates by the Asian Development Bank on Tuesday highlighted the extent to which the economic woes of Europe and the United States are spilling over into this part of the world.

The European antitrust authority said Tuesday it was investigating possible collusion between Apple and major publishing houses in the growing market for electronic books. The European Commission said that Apple may have helped publishers like Lagardere in France, Penguin in Britain, and Simon & Schuster in the United States to engage in “anti-competitive practices affecting the sale of e-books,” in violation of competition rules.

Wireless service provider Verizon Wireless will not include Google Inc’s payments app Google Wallet on its latest smartphone Galaxy Nexus this month, the Wall Street Journal said.

Toll Brothers Inc.’s fiscal fourth-quarter net income slid 70 percent, partly because last year’s quarter was helped by a large tax benefit. Toll Brothers reported net income of $15 million, or 9 cents per share, for the three months ended Oct. 31, down from $50.5 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier. Fourth-quarter home deliveries climbed 8 percent to 757 units.

Top executives at Olympus, the Japanese maker of cameras and medical equipment, devised an elaborate scheme to cover up investment losses involving at least $1.7 billion and should face legal action, a third-party panel said Tuesday in a highly anticipated report that called the company’s management “rotten to the core.”

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