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December 06, 2013 01:38 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief

  • The Dow Jones industrial average has been up as much as 200 points today after the U.S. government reported a big increase in hiring last month. The Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Nasdaq composite are also sharply higher. Employers added 203,000 jobs in November, the fourth straight month of solid growth, and the unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, a five-year low.
  • A longtime adviser to the director of national intelligence has resigned, after the government learned he was a paid consultant to a Chinese tech company considered an espionage threat. Theodore Moran is an expert on China's international investment who served on the intelligence director's advisory panel on foreign investment and advised the National Intelligence Council. He withdrew from those roles after Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf complained about his work for Huawei Technologies.
  • AT&T says it isn't required to tell shareholders what it does with customers' communications. Several shareholders are demanding more transparency, amid complaints that the telecom giant has been sharing and selling information to federal intelligence agencies. AT&T says it protects customer information and complies with government requests for records "only to the extent required by law."
  • Shares of Barnes & Noble are falling after the bookseller said it was cooperating in a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into its accounting. The SEC told the bookseller in October that it was investigating the company's restatement of earnings announced in July as well as an employee allegation that it improperly allocated some information-technology expenses between its Nook and retail segments. The struggling retailer disclosed the news yesterday in its quarterly report.
  • The Obama administration is letting wind energy companies apply for 30-year permits that would excuse them for killing, injuring or harassing eagles at wind farms and other projects. Companies already can apply for 5-year permits, but the wind energy industry asked for the change. It will provide legal protection for companies that get a permit and do everything possible to avoid killing eagles.
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