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August 17, 2011 05:38 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Tuesday trading brought relatively calm trading on Wall Street. The Dow was down nearly 77 points to 11,406. The S&P slipped about 12 points, while the Nasdaq shed nearly 32 points. Futures trading shows little change and suggests a muted start to the day.
  • International stock markets were mostly lower today amid mixed signals on global economic prospects and pessimism Europe's government debt crisis can be tamed. European shares opened lower amid waning hopes for bold action to curtail an escalating sovereign debt crisis. Asian stocks were mixed.
  • Oil prices rose above $87 a barrel today in Asia after one report on U.S. crude inventories revealed mixed signs about consumer demand. The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reports its weekly supply data later today.
  • A check later today on wholesale inflation is expected to show prices in check. The Labor Department releases the Producer Price Index for July.
  • Tobacco companies say the government has never before forced producers of lawful products to use their own packaging to urge consumers not to buy. A suit by four of the five largest tobacco companies is over the new graphic cigarette labels that include the sewn-up corpse of a smoker.