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October 19, 2011 05:47 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Wall Street mounted a snap-back rally in the latest session, with the key averages rising between 1.6 and 2 percent. The Dow gained 180 points to finish at 11,577. Futures trading suggests a lower open today.
  • International stock markets are up today. Investors are emboldened by reports that Germany and France were moving closer toward resolving Europe's debt crisis through a massive expansion of the region's bailout fund.
  • Oil prices hovered above $88 a barrel today in Asia after a report showed U.S. crude supplies unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting demand could be improving. The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reports its weekly supply data later Wednesday.
  • A two-day general strike that unions vow will be the largest in years grounded flights, disrupted public transport and shut down everything from shops to schools in Greece. Thousands of protesters converged in central Athens to demonstrate against more austerity measures.
  • The day's economic data begins with a look at consumer prices. Along with the Consumer Price Index, housing starts are due. Later, the Federal Reserve releases the Beige Book survey.

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