US manufacturers had sought the ruling by the Commerce Department that Chinese firms were dumping solar panels, but the dispute is likely to aggravate US-China relations.
Gas prices have dropped steadily in recent weeks, and the issue is barely registering with voters. While that eases some pressures on Obama, it doesn't necessarily translate into more votes.
The fastest growth in US manufacturing in 10 months gave stocks a lift Tuesday and pushed the Dow Jones industrial average to its highest close in more than four years.
Consumer income and spending are up, but the stock market has been largely stagnant since February. Two big trends could be behind the Dow's tepid spring.
GDP increased at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter, Commerce Department said Friday. That's below economists' expectations. The news gives Republicans ammunition against Obama.
In the warmest March on record, retail sales beat expectations. But shouldn't the boost have been bigger?
Federal Reserve policymakers said they were worried about a slowdown in hiring, pushing down stocks and Treasury prices. The Dow fell 64 points to close at 13199.
For the richest Americans, the recovery is in full swing. But everyone else is losing ground.
Wall Street sees dramatic gains for indexes in first quarter of 2012: Dow climbs 8 percent; S&P rises 12 percent; Nasdaq is up 19 percent.
Falling commodity prices pushed stocks lower Wednesday. The Dow fell 71 points to close at 13126, and all three major indexes lost at least a half percent.