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November 25, 2011 04:34 PM

Friday Evening Business Brief

Stocks edged lower in a holiday-shortened session, capping the worst week for the Dow Jones industrial average in two months.
It fell 26 points, or 0.2 percent, to finish at 11,232. The S&P dropped 3 points, while the Nasdaq declined nearly 19 points. For the week, the key averages were down about 5 percent.
  • Shoppers who have headed out to buy today say they were being lured by deals, including discounts of 50 percent or more. With stores opening late last night or at midnight, crowds thinned out in some cases in the morning.
  • Standard & Poor's has downgraded Belgium's credit rating, citing a government stalemate and possible recession. It cut Belgium's rating from AA+ to AA, just two days after Germany fared surprisingly poorly at a bond auction. Belgium has been without a permanent government for more than 500 days.
  • Italy's borrowing rates rose during today's bond auctions. The new government under Mario Monti faces a challenge to convince investors it has a strategy to reduce the country's $2.6 trillion debt load.
  • The price of benchmark crude rose a bit today. In New York, a barrel of oil was up 60 cents to $96.77


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