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December 30, 2011 09:33 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

Stocks are down slightly on the final trading day of the year.
It appears the year will end in the black. The Dow is up about 6 percent for the year and the Nasdaq should finish up almost 3 percent. The S&P is barely in the black. Markets will be closed Monday in observance of New Year's Day.
  • Stock markets around the world are seeing 2011 go out on a fairly positive note. But many are still posting big declines for the year in the wake of Europe's debt crisis, a faltering U.S. economy and signs that China's economy is no longer sizzling.
  • Ford says it sold more than 2 million vehicles in the U.S. this year, the first time that's happened since 2007. Sales through November were up 18 percent from the first 11 months of 2010. Sales of small cars are on pace to rise more than 20 percent, while utility vehicles are up more than 30 percent.
  • Spain's new conservative government expects the country's 2011 budget deficit will be 8 percent of GDP, up from the 6 percent target of the last government. It's also approved $11.5 billion in spending cuts and continued a freeze on civil servants' salaries and most government hiring. Taxes on the wealthiest Spaniards will go up for two years.
  • Germany's finance minister says he's confident that Europe's politicians will manage to stabilize the eurozone in 2012 and keep the continent's common currency together. The euro's notes and coins will hit their first decade in circulation on Jan. 1.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks

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