Stocks: Investors await decision on Syria

The stock markets could be headed into a volatile week as investors await a congressional decision on whether to authorize limited military strikes against Syria,CNNMoney reports. For more than a week, President Barack Obama has tried to rally members of Congress to support military action in that country. Meanwhile, stocks have been spooked by the uncertainty in the region, according to the article, pushing up gold and oil prices. Despite all of the concern, stocks ended last weekmodestly higher.

 

Manufacturers see continued growth; government policy a worry

In a recent survey, U.S. manufacturers said they are "cautiously optimistic" that growth will continue this year amid an uptick in sales and production, Reuters reports. However, many said they still feel concern over U.S. government policy, citing rising health care costs as their biggest challenge. "Many respondents noted uncertainties in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as a major concern, and many are still unaware of their premium costs for next year," Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers, said in the article. "There is a strong perception that these costs will rise significantly, particularly at the small and medium-sized level."

 

SEC considers rule comparing CEO pay with workers

In 2012, Oracle Corp. CEO Lawrence Ellison made $96.1 million, Exxon Mobil Corp.'s R.W. Tillerson made $40.2 million, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Michael Duke made $20.7 million. Soon, CNNMoney reports the Securities and Exchange Commission might require those companies to say how their top executive salaries compare with the employees who work for them. The rule is a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, though little progress has been made due to lack of deadline and big companies lobbying against it. Although it's not clear when the agency will finalize the proposal, the decision is expected soon.