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October 25, 2011 01:27 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

Lower corporate earnings and worries about a European debt solution are weighing on stock prices.
The Dow has been down more than 100 points.
  • A plan to tackle Europe's debt crisis remains elusive. Two European officials say the sticking points involve how to reduce Greece's massive debts and how to boost the firepower of a bailout fund.
  • A new survey released today indicates American feel worse about the economy than at any time since the depths of the recession. The Conference Board says consumer confidence fell in October to the lowest since March 2009.
  • Consumer Reports says Ford's quality has slipped in the past year because of problems with transmissions and touch-screen systems in some new models. The magazine says vehicles from Honda, Toyota and Mazda had the fewest problems. Chrysler showed the biggest improvement in the annual survey.
  • Personal financial details of as many as 5,000 college students were temporarily made visible to other students on the Education Department's direct loan website earlier this month.  An education official testified that it happened while changes were being made intended to improve the website's performance. People affected were notified and credit monitoring services have been offered.

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