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Investors brought caution back to the markets today as international worries trump what will likely be another strong shopping day for online retailers. The focus in Europe is on Greece's debt situation, which seems to get more muddled by the day. The European Central Bank is apparently giving up on its need for a profit on Greek debt, but a final deal has yet to be made. In the Middle East, tensions in Israel have eased, but now protests in Egypt have investors worried about more problems there. As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) has fallen 0.5% as of 3:20 p.m. EST, and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) is down 0.4%.
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) is leading the winners again today, continuing a recovery since its terrible quarterly report. The stock jumped at about 1 p.m. EST after the company said it did not intentionally sell tech to Syria. It has been under investigation for possible ties to Syria, but the company claims it did not know its partner would send technology to the troubled Middle Eastern country.
Energy stocks are moving lower today on temporary peace in the Middle East. Oil has fallen 0.56% today to below $88, and ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) are down 0.66% and 0.5%, respectively, as a result. The cease-fire between Gaza and Israel is still holding, and for now it doesn't appear that more violence will erupt. This eases short-term pressure on oil and puts more focus on economic growth, which will drive demand for oil going forward.
Betting on economic growth
In the short term, the fiscal cliff, European debt worries, and fighting in the Middle East will push stocks higher or lower on any given day, but in the long term it's the economy that drives the market. To learn more about a few ETFs that have great promise for delivering profits to shareholders in a recovering global economy, check out The Motley Fool's special free report "3 ETFs Set to Soar During the Recovery." Just click here to access it now.