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August 23, 2011 07:14 PM

Tuesday Evening Business Brief

Wall Street recovered from a 60-point dip following today's East Coast earthquake to make its biggest gains in nearly two weeks.
The Dow Jones Industrials gained 322 points to close at 11,177. The S&P 500 rose 39 to 1,162 and the Nasdaq increased 101 points to 2,446.
  • Oil rose above $85 per barrel today on encouraging economic news from Asia and Europe and anticipation of what Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will say on Friday. Prices at U.S. gas pumps reached an average $3.57 per gallon, more than 86 cents more than the same time last year.
  • Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' investment firm now owns nearly 6 percent of equipment maker Deere & Co.'s stock. Cascade Investment says in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission it spent about $571 million over the past 60 days to purchase 7.5 million additional sales, pushing its holdings to 24.5 million shares.
  • A plan by more banks to offer customers the option to borrow against their paychecks for a fee is being criticized. Banks say the loans are meant only for emergencies.  However consumer advocates claim the loans come with the same triple-digit interest rates and short repayment periods as other predatory loans common in low-income neighborhoods.
  • The latest report on new home sales offers more evidence that housing remains a drag on the nation's economy.  The Commerce Department reported today that sales of new homes fell nearly 1 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000, which is less than half the number that economist say would represent a healthy market.