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July 31, 2012 01:37 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

Stock prices have been trading in a narrow range today. Despite a heavy helping of economic news, investors haven't seen fit to make major moves, as far as the broader market is concerned.

  • Americans have been feeling a bit better about the economy this month, with the Conference Board's consumer confidence index rising for the first time in five months. Even so, confidence is said to remain at recession levels.
  • Federal regulators are urging Congress to require fuller disclosure and stricter standards for the $3.7 trillion municipal securities market to help protect investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission issued its report after reviewing the market for bonds and other securities used to finance schools, roads and hospitals around the country.
  • Settlement deals reached between federal prosecutors and three Internet poker companies call for more than a half billion dollars to be paid to the government. Authorities say they will also enable U.S. poker players to recover several hundred million dollars lost when the companies shut down U.S. operations last year.
  • If you don't mind parting with the listed price of $100 million, then an octagon-shaped penthouse in midtown Manhattan might be the thing for you. The 8,000-square-foot apartment has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a wraparound terrace with 350-degree views of the city, an elevator and a wine room for 1,000 bottles.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks
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