Dow Ends at Highest Since 2007

U.S. stocks closed higher Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average marking its highest finish since late 2007, as traders awaited this week’s key decisions from Germany’s top court and the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Dow industrials closed up 69.07 points, or 0.52%, at 13,323.36. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.51 point to 3,104.53, and the S&P 500 ended 4.48 points, or 0.31%, higher at 1,433.56.

Fed watchers have little doubt the central bank is getting ready to launch what’s commonly called “QE3,” or a new large-scale asset purchase plan, but many think the countdown will be placed on hold until later this year.

Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc have agreed to value their brokerage joint venture at $13.5 billion, settling a months-long dispute that notches a victory for Morgan Stanley. The figure is far lower than the value Citigroup had assigned to the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney business on its balance sheet, and as a result Citigroup will take a $2.9 billion non-cash charge against earnings in the third quarter.

Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg will address the public and the press in a public forum Tuesday for the first time since the social-networking site launched its controversial and poorly performing IPO earlier this year. Zuckerberg is slated to address the TechCrunch conference in San Francisco later  Tuesday. The world’s youngest billionaire is expected to address the company’s plans to grow, its strategy for expanding into the all-important mobile space and, perhaps most importantly for investors, how to reverse the stock’s decline since the IPO.

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