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November 25, 2011 12:59 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks wrapped up an abbreviated session lower, ending the worst week for the Dow Jones industrial average since late September.
The Dow lost 26 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,232.  The S&P dropped 3 and the Nasdaq shed nearly 19 points. 
  • Standard & Poor's has lowered its long-term sovereign credit rating for Belgium, citing a threat to exports and the country's lack of a permanent government. The agency cut Belgium's credit rating from AA+ to AA. Belgium has been without a permanent government for 530 days.
  • The Dutch and Finnish finance ministers are calling for a stronger role for the International Monetary Fund in helping stem Europe's debt crisis as they met Friday with their German counterpart. There has been increasing talk of a massive bond-buying drive by the European Central Bank to bring down troubled countries' borrowing costs - something that Germany, in particular, opposes.
  • There were bigger crowds at the nation's shopping malls and many stores on this Black Friday. There also were scattered reports of violence as consumers battled for position trying to take advantage of the promotions that were offered.  
  • A Chinese entrepreneur's effort to create a huge nature retreat in Iceland has been rejected by the north Atlantic island nation's government. At issue was worry the proposal would turn over a major chunk of territory to a foreign investor.

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