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August 18, 2011 04:41 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief

A new wave of aggressive selling overtook Wall Street today. The Dow lost nearly 420 points to 10,991. The S&P fell nearly 4.5 percent, while the Nasdaq lost even more, 5.2 percent.
  • Hewlett-Packard says it will discontinue its tablet computer and smartphone products and may sell or spin off its PC division. It would be one of the most dramatic makeovers in the company's 72-year history.
  • The price of gold hit a new record high, near $1,830 an ounce. Investors sought what they hope will hold value amid another steep downturn for stocks.
  • American International Group has paid the federal government more than $2 billion this week. That trims its financial bailout balance to roughly $51 billion.
  • There was downbeat news on the job market. The Labor Department says more people joined the unemployment line last week than at any time in the past month. The number of people filing claims for jobless benefits for the first time rose to 408,000, or 9,000 more than the week before.