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December 02, 2014 01:46 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

  • Stocks are higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Energy companies are leading the gains, even as crude oil resumed its slide. General Motors rose after reporting stronger sales, and Biogen, a biotech company, soared following news that its drug for Alzheimer's disease showed promise.
  • Automakers that sell cars equipped with air bags made by Takata Corp. are teaming up to investigate why the bag's inflators can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel into the passenger compartment. Toyota says it will seek industry-wide coordination to hire an independent engineering company to investigate, and all the affected companies would share in the results. Other automakers, including Honda and Ford, agreed to cooperate.
  • Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies expect sales to keep growing in the next six months and also plan to step up hiring. The Business Roundtable says 40 percent of its member CEOs expect to hire more workers, up from 34 percent in the third quarter. Nearly three-quarters project their sales will rise, roughly the same as the previous quarter.
  • Figures coming in from Cyber Monday suggest that online sales were up yesterday, but not as much as some were expecting. IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark says online sales rose 8.5 percent compared to 2013. That still makes it the busiest U.S. online shopping day of the year so far. But growth was well below last year, when online sales jumped more than 20 percent on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  • A judge is hearing arguments this afternoon in a lawsuit that aims to force California officials to sell 11 state properties to private investors for $2.3 billion and then have the state lease them back. The sale was championed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a way to help the state plug a budget deficit. Gov. Jerry Brown pulled the plug on the plan in 2011 after analysts said it would end up costing the state as much as $1.5 billion.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks

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