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May 31, 2013 07:09 PM

Friday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks have ended the day sharply lower but still managed to end the month higher. After moving between small losses and gains for most of the day, stocks began to slide in the afternoon and the sell-off accelerated in the final hour. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day with its biggest loss in nearly six weeks, falling more than 209 points. The S&Ps 500 was off 24 and the Nasdaq down 35.

  • Members of a Federal Reserve advisory committee expressed concerns this month that the Fed's low interest-rate policies could be creating an "unsustainable bubble" in stock and bond markets. That's according to a record of a May 17 discussion published today on the Fed's website. It reveals that the advisory group believes the Fed's policies provided support for a slow economic recovery, but that some worry the policies may also lead to higher inflation or market instability.
  • The price of oil has fallen to its lowest level in a month after OPEC stuck to its current production target despite ample supplies of crude. U.S. crude oil futures fell $1.64 to close at $91.97 in New York. The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. slipped less than a penny to $3.61 per gallon.
  • General Motors is hoping that a makeover of the Chevrolet Malibu will make it more competitive in the key midsize car segment. The company unveiled the 2014 version of the car today, hoping to it will catch on in the heart of the U.S. auto market now dominated by Toyota's Camry, Honda's Accord and Ford's Fusion. GM says improvements include better gas mileage, more back-seat legroom, a restyled front end and better handling.
  • China says it's looking forward to "even-tempered talks" on cybersecurity when a Chinese military delegation meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel over the weekend. A Foreign Ministry spokesman says the two sides should seek to "jointly deal with cyber threats and build an open, cooperative, secure and transparent cyberspace." China has consistently denied involvement in hacking and says it has been a major victim of cyber intrusions, too.
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