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December 28, 2011 01:32 PM

Wednesday Business Brief

Stocks are sliding after Europe's central bank reported that its overnight deposits hit another record, the latest indication of worry among European lenders.
The Dow is down more than 100 points, and the S&P is losing ground after five days of gains.
  • A survey of economists by The Associated Press gives President Barack Obama's economic policies mediocre marks. It also shows the economists expect economic growth to pick up to 2.4 percent next year. But they predict only slight improvement in the unemployment rate by Election Day.
  • The Bahrain-based U.S. 5th Fleet says if Iran closes a key oil supply route, the fleet will be ready with a counter move. Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz if the West imposes new sanctions over its nuclear program. A sixth of the world's oil passes through the strait.
  • A retail research firm says spending from Dec. 1 through Christmas Eve was up 4.7 percent compared with last year.  And ShopperTrak says it rose 4.1 percent in November. A 4 percent increase is considered a successful season. A combined figure for the whole season won't be available until after Dec. 31.
  • Citigroup is selling its Belgian consumer business to Credit Mutuel Nord Europe as the bank continues to sell off operations it deems are outside its core business. The company didn't disclose the terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks

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