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February 01, 2013 02:44 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief

The Dow has cracked the 14,000 level for the first time since the Great Recession. The index last traded above 14,000 in October 2007. The Dow has gained 6.7 percent since the start of the year.

  • The White House says the January jobs report shows the U.S. economy is healing. The Labor Department reports U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs in January, and hiring was much stronger at the end of 2012 than previously thought. But with the unemployment rate ticking up to 7.9 percent, the White House economic adviser Alan Krueger is warning Congress not to inflict wounds by allowing automatic, across-the-board spending cuts scheduled for March 1 to take place.
  •  Faster growth in new orders and increased hiring at factories in January have pushed a measure of U.S. manufacturing activity higher. The Institute for Supply Management says its index of manufacturing activity jumped to 53.1 in January. It's the highest reading since April. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
  • Ford, Chrysler and General Motors all reported double-digit gains for January as last year's momentum in U.S. auto sales continued into 2013. Sales at Ford rose 22 percent compared with a year earlier, while GM and Chrysler each reported 16 percent gains. It was Chrysler's best January in five years.
  • Senate Republicans say they will oppose President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, unless the office created after the 2008 financial meltdown is significantly changed. Obama has renominated current director Richard Cordray, who was named in a recess appointment last year. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and 42 other GOP senators complain that the office has little accountability to Congress and wields too much regulatory authority.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks

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