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May 02, 2012 05:57 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

With yesterday's rally, the Dow notched its highest close in more than four years. It was up 66 points, or 0.5 percent, to 13,279. The S&P was up 8 points, while the Nasdaq surged 4. Futures trading suggests modest gains this morning.

  • A surprisingly big rebound in a closely watched U.S. manufacturing survey continued to shore up markets today, particularly in continental Europe. Benchmark crude oil fell under $106 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.
  • Investors are now looking ahead to Friday's monthly unemployment report, and will look for a clue from the privately compiled ADP payrolls report due today.  The government today releases March factory orders.
  • Shell's efforts to drill 10 new deepwater wells off the coast of Alabama face a court test today. The federal appeals court in Atlanta is set to hear a challenge from environmental groups who say an oil spill could be far worse than the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster. Shell has one of the first drilling approvals since 2010.
  • Unemployment across the 17 countries that use the euro is at its highest level since the common currency was launched in 1999. The Eurozone unemployment rate was 10.9 percent in March. Spain has the highest unemployment rate at 24.1 percent.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks

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