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November 23, 2011 01:25 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

A sign that Europe's debt crisis has affected Germany, coupled with slower manufacturing in China, is weighing on Wall Street today. The main stock market averages were down between 1 and 2 percent at midday.

  • The government issued a flurry of economic reports ahead of Thanksgiving, including word that more people applied for unemployment benefits last week, despite some other generally more positive signs about the job market. Also, consumer spending rose in October by the smallest amount in four months, while incomes rose more than expected.
  • During the first two months of the nationwide Occupy protests, the movement that is demanding more out of the wealthiest Americans cost local taxpayers at least $13 million in police overtime and other municipal services. That's according to a survey by The Associated Press. The steepest costs by far piled up in New York City and Oakland, Calif., where police clashed with protesters on several occasions.
  • Holiday travel got off to a wet start in some parts of the nation today. Auto club AAA says nearly 43 million people are expected to drive, fly or ride trains to their Thanksgiving destinations, the most since the start of the recession. Most travel costs are up this year.
  • Worries that the global economy is weakening is leading oil prices lower, even though the government said that oil supplies fell sharply in the U.S. Benchmark crude was down more than $1 a barrel to $96.63 a barrel in New York.

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