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July 08, 2010 01:22 PM

Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are hanging onto gains after the improvement seen over the previous two sessions.
The Dow closed back above the 10,000 level yesterday.
  • Speaking in Kansas City, President Barack Obama asserted that his economic policies averted disaster.  He's also raising funds in Missouri for Democratic Senate hopeful Robin Carnahan. He heads later to Nevada to campaign for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
  • Taken together, retail chains saw a rise in June sales of 3 percent from a year ago. Analyst Marshal Cohen of The NPD Group says retailers may be prompted to put more aggressive markdowns in place, and may even cut prices on new merchandise.
  • An Illinois court has ruled in favor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange in a case over the company's exclusive license to trade certain index options. Under the ruling, competitor International Securities Exchange will be prohibited from trading options on the Standard & Poor's 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
  • Mortgage rates have dropped again this week, now at a new modern low. But many people either don't qualify for new mortgages or have already taken advantage of the low rates this year.