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February 09, 2012 01:32 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Stock prices have seen back-and-forth trading today since the Dow pressed within 75 points of the 13,000 level. It hasn't been over that benchmark in nearly four years.

  • Not long after Greece made the politically unpopular decision to slash government spending to attack its debt crisis, Germany's finance minister questioned whether the deal goes far enough to earn a bailout. Greece's new austerity plan would make deep cuts to jobs and wages. It also prompted fresh criticism from unions and the country's labor minister, who resigned in protest. Finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro are meeting in Brussels to scrutinize the plan.
  • U.S. states have reached a landmark $25 billion deal with the nation's biggest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses after the housing market collapse. The deal requires five of the largest banks to reduce loans for about 1 million households at risk of foreclosure. The lenders will also send checks of $2,000 to about 750,000 Americans who were improperly foreclosed upon.
  • The price of natural gas rose today after a major producer said it is aggressively cutting production. Chesapeake Energy Corp. told investors its production cuts are "actually higher" than the minimum of 500 million cubic feet per day it announced in January.
  • The nation's first new nuclear power plant in a generation has been given a green light with federal regulators voting to grant a license for new reactors in Georgia. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 4-1 to approve Atlanta-based Southern Co.'s request to build two nuclear reactors south of Augusta.
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  • Housing
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