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November 16, 2011 05:23 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief


Stocks closed sharply lower after Fitch Ratings said U.S. banks could take a hit if Europe's debt crisis spreads.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 191 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 11,906. The S&P 500 declined 21 points, or 1.7 percent, to 1,237, while the Nasdaq composite lost 47 points 2,639.
  • The Labor Department says Americans paid less for gas, cars and computers last month as overall prices fell for the first time since June. The Consumer Price Index fell 0.1 percent.
  • Johnson & Johnson has begun removing two harmful chemicals from its iconic baby shampoo and other baby products in the U.S. J&J now says it expects to remove formaldehyde-releasing preservatives from baby products within about two years and is reducing traces of the other chemical.
  • A California jury has decided against Rambus in an antitrust lawsuit it filed against chip-makers Micron and Hynix. The panel determined the pair did not conspire to fix pricing of memory chips. Rambus had alleged that the two companies conspired to make Rambus-designed chips more expensive and keep the company out of the market.
  • The Obama administration's proposal to nearly double fuel economy standards for cars and pickup trucks is likely to cost automakers $157 billion, but it will save drivers billions more at the pump. The details emerge as the administration formally proposes what 13 major automakers and the White House agreed to in July. Cars and trucks by 2025 must average 54.5 miles per gallon.
     
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