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December 13, 2011 05:39 PM

Tuesday Evening Business Brief

Stocks faded before the closing bell. The Dow dropped 66 points to 11,955, a loss of nearly 0.6 percent.
The S&P fell nearly 11 points, while the Nasdaq declined 33 points.
  • The Federal Reserve indicates the nation's economy is doing well enough that the central bank can hold off on any new efforts. But the Fed also says unemployment remains high, and refers to Europe's risks as strains in global markets.
  • Southwest Airlines is placing a huge order for a redesigned and more fuel-efficient version of Boeing's most popular plane, the 737. It's the biggest firm order in Boeing's history by number of planes - 208 - and at list value, worth nearly $19 billion.
  • Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is part of an effort to build a giant airplane and spaceship to be used to take people and cargo into orbit. The new commercial spaceship would drop from a high-flying airplane instead of blasting off from a launch pad.
  • The U.S. Postal Service has agreed to delay the closing of 252 mail processing centers and 3,700 local post offices until mid-May. Last week, a group of 18 Senate Democrats signed a letter to congressional leaders asking them to add language to legislation that would halt closings for six months.
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  • Economy/Stocks

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