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May 08, 2012 01:28 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

A fresh wave of political uncertainty in Europe has roiled global financial markets. At midday, the Dow was down more than 150 points, or 1.3 percent.

  • Here's a new signal on the job market that is more hopeful. The Labor Department says U.S. companies in March posted the highest number of job openings in nearly four years, a sign that hiring could strengthen in the coming months after slowing this spring.
  • Senate Republicans have derailed a Democratic bill that would keep interest rates on federal college loans from doubling July 1. Republicans oppose the Democrats' way of paying for it, and want a vote on their alternative. Both sides are trading accusations. The Senate's top Democrat says Republicans care more about the rich than about students, while the Senate Republican leader says Democrats are trying to create campaign issues instead of addressing the nation's problems.
  • McDonald's says a key revenue figure rose in April as strength in the U.S. and parts of Europe helped offset weakness in Japan. But the results were short of Wall Street expectations as well as the fast food chain's own guidance.
  • The organization behind a major expansion of Internet address suffixes is offering full refunds to companies and organizations affected by a weeks-long delay in taking proposals, with each application costing $185,000. Applicants had been allowed to withdraw bids for a partial refund, but now they can get all of their money back as long as they pull their bids before a deadline.

For more business news, visit the Back To Business page.

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