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July 17, 2012 06:45 PM

Tuesday Evening Business Brief

Stocks managed to finish higher after hesitation early in today's session as investors reacted to testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Dow gained 78 points, or 0.6 percent, to 12,805. The S&P added 10 points to 1,364. The Nasdaq composite rose 13 points to 2,910.

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told members of the Senate Banking Committee that Congress can help the economy by coming up with a solution to the so-called "fiscal cliff".  If Congress doesn't take action by the end of the year, a package of tax cuts adopted during George W. Bush's administration expire while deep spending cuts kick in. If that happens, Bernanke cited a forecast that a recession will likely follow.
  • It is one thing to hand in your resignation. It is another to do it before a Senate panel. The chief compliance officer of Britain's HSBC told lawmakers that he is stepping down from his post after an investigation found that lax controls at the international bank allowed Mexican drug cartels to launder billions of dollars through its U.S. operation and other allegedly illicit transactions. At the same time, he said he'll stay at the bank.
  • Viacom has decided to let new episodes of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" run on its websites, easing a blockade of online viewings that it imposed last week in a fee dispute with DirecTV. Stewart ripped the Comedy Central network owner in a segment, saying: "You're pulling shows from the Internet? Viacom, what are you, China?"
  • Pilots at United Airlines say they could go on strike, after two years of failed negotiations on a new contract. The Air Line Pilots Association says that of the pilots who voted, 99 percent authorized a strike.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks
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