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August 18, 2011 05:44 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief

Stocks ended mostly higher in Wednesday trading. The Dow was up 4 points to 11,410. The S&P added 1, while the Nasdaq fell about a dozen points. Futures trading suggests a lower open.
  • International stock markets sank today after an uneven day on Wall Street added to pessimism about the global economic outlook. Japan announced that exports had fallen for the fifth straight month in July.
  • Oil prices fell below $87 a barrel today Asia on renewed concerns that the U.S. economy may weaken and hit fuel demand in the world's top crude consumer. Experts say oil prices are likely to remain volatile ahead of the release of a slew of U.S. economic data later today.
  • Several economic reports are due out this morning, including the weekly jobless claims report. Also on tap, the Consumer Price Index and the leading indicators.
  • Car dealers are beginning to worry that the inconsistent economy and stock volatility are having a ripple effect on auto sales. Dealers are beginning to think healthy sales forecasts in May are now overly optimistic.