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September 19, 2013 01:41 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are mostly lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street, a day after the Dow and the S&P 500 hit record highs following the Federal Reserve's decision to keep its economic stimulus in place. Investors are now trying to figure out if the Fed's action means the economy is in worse shape than previously thought. One possible sign of economic worries can be seen in gold, which is on track for its biggest one-day gain since the financial crisis.

  • Pandora stock has hit an all-time high after a court ruling yesterday that should help trim its songwriter royalty costs. The Internet radio company is also hoping to raise more money from investors in a stock sale. It's increasing the number of shares it is offering to the public and raising the offer price to $25 from $23.99. The stock has been up more than 5 percent today, peaking at $27.21.
  • The current account trade deficit has narrowed to the lowest level in nearly three years. The Commerce Department says it fell to $98.9 billion in the April-June quarter, a drop of 5.7 percent from the first-quarter deficit of $104.9 billion. The current account is the country's broadest measure of trade. It tracks not only the sale of goods and services but also investment flows.
  • President Barack Obama says rising U.S. exports have been "one of the biggest bright spots" of the U.S. economy. Obama in 2010 set a goal of doubling exports by 2015 but the country is not on track to meet that goal. However, Obama pointed out the United States now sells more goods overseas than ever before, and those sales have boosted the U.S. economy. Obama was addressing his export council, an advisory committee on trade with members from a variety of U.S. industries.
  • A former Halliburton employee has been charged with destroying evidence following BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Anthony Badalamenti was the cementing technology director for Halliburton Energy Services Inc. He was charged in federal court in New Orleans today with instructing two other employees to delete data during a post-spill review of the cement job on BP's blown-out well.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks