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December 30, 2014 05:58 AM

Tuesday Morning Business Brief

International stock markets were mostly in the red today as concern about Greek politics and the shaky Russian ruble dented confidence in the global economy. Futures point to opening losses on Wall Street today. The dollar fell against the yen and the euro. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell below $53 per barrel.

  • WASHINGTON (AP) - The Conference Board releases its December index on U.S. consumer confidence later this morning. This comes in the wake of last Friday's government report showing the U.S. economy grew at a robust annual rate of 5 percent from July through September. Also today, Standard & Poor's releases its 20-cit y home price index for October. In September, U.S. home prices rose at the slowest pace in more than two years.
     
  • NEW YORK (AP) -The U.N. General Assembly has approved a plan to develop a new legal framework to restructure national debts, a move aimed at avoiding the kind of speculative action that led Argentina to a second default.  The 193-member world body voted 119-15 with 35 abstentions last night in favor of a resolution outlining the plan, which was proposed by developing countries and strongly supported by Argentina. The United States, Britain, Japan, Switzerland and Canada were among those voting "no."
     
  • YORK, England (AP) - Professors from three leading British universities say policies favoring international debt repayment over social spending contributed to the Ebola crisis by hampering health care in the three worst-hit West African countries. A report in The Lancet Global Health journal alleges that conditions for loans from the International Monetary Fund prevented an effective response to the outbreak that has killed nearly 8,000 people. The IMF denies the charges.
     
  • WASHINGTON (AP) - The cost of being uninsured in America is going up significantly next year for millions of people. It's the first year all taxpayers have to report to the Internal Revenue Service whether they had health insurance for the previous year, as required under President Barack Obama's law. Those who are uninsured face fines, unless they qualify for one of about 30 exemptions, most of which involve financial hardships.
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