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July 19, 2010 06:29 PM

Evening Business Brief

Stocks posted modest gains as investors anticipate strong earnings reports in the coming weeks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56.53 points to 10,154.43. The Standard and Poor's 500 index was up 6.37 to 1,071.25 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 19.81 to 2,198.23.
  • Oil prices opened the week with a gain. The price of benchmark crude rose 53 cents to settle at $76.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
  • It is a little cheaper to fill up the gas tank these days and that trend is expected to continue through the summer. Triple-A, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service say the average price for regular unleaded gas is $2.722 a gallon. That's down about seven-tenths of one cent from a month ago but about a quarter higher than a year ago.
  • IBM has increased its earnings guidance for the year by a nickel to at least $11.25 a share. The increase reflects the company's belief it can squeeze more profit from its services and software divisions. IBM also reported second quarter profit that was better than analysts had expected, but revenues fell short.
  • More problems for Johnson and Johnson.  Federal regulators just sent the company a critical report after inspectors found problems at a second plant in Pennsylvania. The healthcare giant shut down a plant several months ago that's now linked to eight recalls of Tylenol and other nonprescription drugs.  Johnson and Johnson says it's addressing the FDA's concerns as quickly as possible.

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