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June 20, 2012 01:25 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

Stock prices are little changed after an initial selling wave after the Federal Reserve announced it was extending so-called "Operation Twist". That means the stock market remains on track for a positive week.

  • The Federal Reserve will continue its program through December aimed at keeping interest rates low with the hope of encouraging borrowing and spending. In its statement, the central bank notes that hiring has weakened and the U.S. economy needs more support. It reiterated its plan to keep short-term rates at record lows until at least late 2014.
  • A newly released survey of chief executives shows fewer large U.S. companies plan to hire or boost spending in the next six months. The Business Roundtable says 36 percent of its CEO members plan to add workers over the next six months. That's down from 42 percent when the survey was last taken three months ago.
  • A widely-followed study finds that Lexus makes the best quality cars in the U.S. The Toyota luxury brand is tops in the J.D. Power and Associates study of quality in 2012 models. Jaguar and Porsche tied for second, while Cadillac and Honda rounded out the top five brands.
  • Struggling BlackBerry maker Research In Motion says it has begun laying off workers as part of its goal of saving about $1 billion this year. Under fierce competition from the likes of iPhone and the Android platform, the once iconic BlackBerry company is facing the most difficult period in its history.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks
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