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January 06, 2015 05:17 PM

Tuesday Evening Business Brief

  • Stocks continue to retreat from their recent record highs as the price of oil continues to plunge. The S&P 500 index dropped nearly 18 points to 2,002.61 today, while the Dow closed down 130, finishing at 17,371.64. The Nasdaq composite lost close to 60 points to 4,592.74.
  • The CEO of the oil and gas industry's top lobbying arm says plunging oil prices may hurt American companies in the short run.  But American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard says increased U.S. production and dropping oil prices also mean the U.S. is on its way to being a global leader in oil production. In New York today, benchmark U.S. crude dropped another $2.11, settling at $47.93 a barrel.
  • The new, Republican-controlled Congress has convened and a veto fight is already brewing. It's over the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Votes in a Senate committee and on the House floor are set for later this week. The White House says President Barack Obama would veto legislation approving construction of the long-stalled pipeline.
  • Retiring Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is scoffing at suggestions that the Postal Service could ease some of its chronic financial woes by offering basic banking services to its customers. He told reporters today that the Postal Service's role is delivery, not financial services.
  • A federal appeals court has given the green light to a lawsuit by former NFL players against video game maker Electronic Arts over the use of their avatars in the company's Madden NFL series. EA argues that use of the former players' likenesses was incidental and therefore protected by the First Amendment. The players, including former Los Angeles Rams quarterback Vince Ferragamo, say the Madden NFL game has players with their exact characteristics, but EA had not obtained their permission to use the figures.
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