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April 19, 2013 01:44 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are mixed as a turbulent week on Wall Street draws to a close. The Dow has been lower after IBM's quarterly earnings fell short of forecasts for the first time since 2005. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 indexes are higher.

  • Unemployment rates have fallen in 26 states even though job growth slowed, largely because many of those out of work stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed. Rates rose in seven states last month and were unchanged in 17. Only 23 states reported a net gain in hiring in March, the fewest since August 2011. Nevada reported the highest unemployment rate 9.7 percent. North Dakota's unemployment rate of 3.3 percent was the lowest.
  • Fitch Ratings has stripped Britain of its cherished top AAA credit score, citing a weaker economic outlook that continues to hinder the country in keeping control of its debt. Fitch becomes the second major ratings agency to downgrade its rating for the U.K. to AA+. It says the downgrade came because the country lacked "the fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic and financial shocks."
  • A federal appeals court has turned down lawsuits by two groups seeking to block a pilot program allowing Mexican trucks to operate throughout the U.S. The three-judge panel today denied challenges by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement that took effect about two decades ago, trucks from both countries were supposed to have unhindered access to highways on either side of the border.
  • Mass transportation to and from the Boston area is virtually shut down today as police conduct a massive manhunt for a suspect in Monday's Boston Marathon bombing. All major intercity bus lines have suspended service to the area and Amtrak has stopped all trains between New York and Boston. Planes continue to take off and land at Logan International Airport, but airlines are allowing customers to change plans without paying a fee.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks

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