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September 08, 2011 01:25 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Stock prices have edged lower since the opening bell.
The market is coming off yesterday's 275 point rise in the Dow.
  • President Barack Obama tonight faces a skeptical Congress to pitch is new plan for lifting the job market. He is expected to pitch a combination of ideas including tax relief, unemployment insurance, spending to support construction jobs and aid to states to keep people in their jobs along with tax breaks for business.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says he's surprised how cautious consumers have been in the two years since the recession officially ended. The Fed chief offers no hints of any steps the Fed would take to boost the weak economy.
  • Freddie Mac says fixed mortgage rates fell this week to the lowest levels in six decades. The average rate for the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.12 percent, down from 4.22 percent.
  • The Labor Department says the number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose slightly last week. New claims were up 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 414,000.

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