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August 16, 2011 01:37 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

On Wall Street, stock prices are lower as attention returns to Europe's debt problems. Even so, the selling has been contained compared to last week's wild swings.
  • The leaders of France and Germany say all countries using the euro should have mandatory balanced budgets and better coordination of economic policy. They're pushing for long-term political solutions instead of immediate financial measures like a single European bond.
  • President Barack Obama today urged Iowans to share ideas with him about fixing the economy. He promised better days ahead, saying, "We'll get through this moment of challenge."
  • Wal-Mart Stores has posted a second-quarter profit increase of nearly 6 percent. It is also raising the outlook for the year based on international sales and cost cutting. U.S. sales continue to slump.
  • Allstate has filed suit against Goldman Sachs. The suit filed in New York state court says more than $122 million in mortgage-backed securities the insurance company bought beginning in 2006 were fraudulent. The value of them plunged as the housing market bubble burst.