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April 23, 2013 01:51 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks have recovered from a brief scare. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 150 points after a fake posting on the Twitter account of The Associated Press. The fake tweet said there had been an attack at the White House. The AP released a statement saying that its Twitter account had been hacked, and that the report was false. Stocks quickly regained lost ground. Stocks have been higher today following strong earnings across a range of U.S. industries.

  • A new report says the richest Americans got richer during the first two years of the economic recovery while average net worth declined for the other 93 percent of the nation's households. The Pew Research Center says wealth held by the richest 7 percent of households rose 28 percent from 2009 to 2011, while the net worth of the other 93 percent of households dropped by 4 percent. Pew says the main reason for the gap is that less affluent households have more of their assets in their homes, which haven't fully regained their value since the housing downturn.
  • Testimony and documents released at a hearing in Washington say federal regulators let Boeing write the safety conditions for the problematic battery system in its beleaguered 787 "Dreamliner," prescribe how to test it and carry out those tests itself. The National Transportation Safety Board is looking at how the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing and the company's subcontractors tested and approved the 787's lithium ion batteries. Batteries aboard two 787s failed less than two weeks apart in January, causing a fire aboard one plane and smoke in another.
  • As airport delays spread across the country, some members of Congress are calling for a halt in furloughs of air traffic controllers. They say it's a safety issue as well as an inconvenience. FAA officials have said they have no choice but to furlough all 47,000 agency employees, including nearly 15,000 controllers, for one day out of every 10 because of the automatic government spending cuts. But some members of Congress charge that the furloughs are being used to pressure Republicans to back down on tax and budget issues.
  • The chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee has decided not to run for re-election. Montana Democrat Max Baucus tells The Associated Press that "there is life beyond Congress." The 71-year-old has been a fixture in the Senate since 1979 and helped steer President Barack Obama's health care overhaul into law. He stunned administration officials last week when he told the president's health care chief that he thought the law was headed for a "train wreck" because of bumbling implementation.
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