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August 01, 2012 05:38 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Stocks lost ground in Tuesday trading. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 64 points, or 0.5 percent, to settle at 13,009. The S&P dropped 6 points to 1,379. And the Nasdaq declined 6 points to 2,940. Futures trading suggests opening gains this morning.

  • Asian and European stock markets went in opposite directions today. Asian markets mostly fell after four days of gains as China's manufacturing slowed despite government stimulus efforts. European shares rose in early trading. Benchmark crude oil rose above $88 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and was little-changed against the yen.
  • The Federal Reserve today concludes a two-day policy-setting session. Analysts say there is an increasing chance that the Fed will want to do something to help support the economy, but that may have to wait until the fall.
  • With Republicans badly split over farm subsidies and cutting food stamps, House GOP leaders have decided to drop plans to extend the current farm program for one year. They will instead press for immediate help for drought-stricken livestock producers.
  • Europe's top central bankers have said they're willing to rescue the eurozone economies and tomorrow could provide a hint of whether they're ready to act. The European Central Bank meets tomorrow, a week after ECB President Mario Draghi vowed to "do whatever it takes" to save the European common currency, the euro.

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