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November 07, 2013 01:39 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

The Dow has been retreating from yesterday's record close and the broader indexes are also lower as investors bet that faster U.S. economic growth will prompt the Federal Reserve to cut back its economic stimulus. The Commerce Department estimates the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the third quarter, nearly a full percentage point stronger than most economists had predicted. The Dow has been as much as 120 points lower in afternoon trading. The S&P and the Nasdaq each have been off by 1 percent or more.

  • One analyst says Twitter's initial public stock offering has gone "pretty flawlessly." Twitter opened trading at $45.10 per share this morning, or 73 percent above its $26 IPO price. The price has remained fairly steady, jumping as higher as $50.09, in what had been expected to be a volatile day.
  • The Food and Drug Administration is looking to get trans fats out of the American diet. The FDA announced today that it will require the food industry to gradually phase out trans fats, saying it could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths. The agency will collect comments for two months before setting a timeline for the phase-out.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have posted strong third-quarter earnings thanks to the housing market's recovery. Fannie reports it earned $8.7 billion, while Freddie posted net income of $30.5 billion for the July-September period. The gains will enable the mortgage giants to finish repaying their taxpayer aid or come close to doing so five years after they were rescued by the government.
  • Mortgage rates rose slightly last week but remained near historically low levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.16 percent from 4.10 percent. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.27 percent. Rates have been falling since September when the Federal Reserve surprised investors by continuing to buy $85 billion a month in bonds.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks