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February 08, 2013 05:19 PM

Friday Evening Business Brief

  • Stocks have finished the day with solid gains. The S&P 500 added 8 and a-half points to 1,518, its highest point since 2007. The Nasdaq added nearly 29 points, closing at 3,194. The Dow added 49 points to 13,993. While that was enough to offset yesterday's loss, it wasn't enough to extend the bluechips' streak of weekly gains.
  • Snow is locking down residents of the Northeast. Amtrak has stopped service in cities across the region while airlines have cancelled more than 3,700 flights.  Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has enacted a statewide driving ban for the first time since the region's famed Blizzard of 1978. Forecasters say Boston could get up to 3 feet of snow before it's all over.
  • Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have been topping off fuel at cell-tower generators in Northeastern states, preparing for a storm that could bring power outages. Cell-towers are dependent on electric power from the grid, but many of them have backup batteries, and in some cases generators that can power the antennas independently for longer.
  • One of Dell's largest stockholders is trying to thwart the company's plans to sell itself for $24.4 billion. Southeastern Asset Management is the second largest shareholder after the personal computer maker's CEO and founder, Michael Dell.  Southeastern CEO O. Mason Hawkins dismisses the proposed sale price as "woefully inadequate." It would pay existing stockholders $13.65 per share, but Hawkins says the struggling company is worth at least $24 per share.
  • Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the makers of surgical mesh used to treat incontinence and other pelvic problems in women. The lawsuits accuse the companies of inadequate testing, failing to disclose potential risks and fraudulently promoting the mesh as a safe medical device. The manufacturers deny the allegations. Some doctors say the lawsuits are misguided and blame inexperienced surgeons.

Read more business stories on the Back To Business page.

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