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August 17, 2011 05:23 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief

Stock prices ended mixed. The Dow gained 4 points to 11,410. The S&P added 1 points, while the Nasdaq composite fell about a dozen.
  • President Barack Obama isn't making any promises about an immediate improvement in the economy. Speaking to a group in his home state of Illinois, he said that it will take at least a year for housing prices and sales to start rising. He agreed with a questioner that the protracted negotiations over the debt-ceiling damaged consumer confidence, which he called "inexcusable."
  • The price of crude rose as traders focused on an unexpectedly large drop in gasoline supplies and a weaker dollar. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery was up 93 cents to settle at $87.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
  • The maker of popular online games including "FarmVille" is being sued for patent infringement by a Texas gaming startup. The suit, filed by a little known company based in Texas, claims Zynga is violating two of its patents related to systems for redeeming prizes in games.
  • A federal judge says there is insufficient evidence that the financial services news company founded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg discriminated against pregnant women and mothers. The judge threw out the broader claim against the company but says some individual claims against Bloomberg, the company, may proceed.