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December 27, 2014 01:34 PM

Saturday Business Brief

Wall Street's "Santa Claus" rally is a gift that just keeps on giving. On the day after Christmas, the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks closed at all-time highs. The Dow gained 23 and a-half points to 18,053. The S&P added nearly seven points to 2,088. The Nasdaq rose 33 points to 4,806. And the Russell grew eight points to 1,215.

  • Investors are closely watching falling oil prices. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.11 to close at $54.73 a barrel Friday in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 79 cents to close at $59.45 a barrel in London. Oil prices have fallen by about a half since the summer. Traders are worried there won't be enough global demand for the abundant supplies of oil.
  • Gas prices are continuing to plummet. They've fallen to the lowest level since May of 2009 at an average of $2.32 a gallon. That's according to Triple-A. A spokesman for the auto group says prices have fallen 92 straight days -- which has never happened before. Missouri is the first state since 2009 to see an average of under $2.00 per gallon at $1.98.
  • Japan's Cabinet has approved $29 billion in fresh stimulus to help pull the world's third-largest economy out of recession. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay) is wrapping up his second year in office hard-pressed to salvage a recovery that fizzled into recession after a sales tax hike in April. The stimulus plan endorsed by the Cabinet includes $5 billion earmarked for stagnant regional economies. It also lays out Abe's vision for countering longer term trends such as Japan's surging public debt and a declining and aging population.
  • The man who founded a small technology firm called Science Applications International Corp. and built it into one of the largest defense contractors in the United States has died. J. Robert Beyster was 90.  Beyster's family says the engineer-turned-entrepreneur died last Monday of natural causes at his home in San Diego, California. Beyster founded SAIC in 1969.
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