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Friday Afternoon Business Brief

August 31, 2012, 1:40 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are on the rise ahead of Labor Day weekend. The Dow has gained more than 100 points.

  • Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve can do more to help the economy. In a speech to a Fed conference in Jackson Hole, he cited continued high unemployment and an economic recovery that remains "far from satisfactory."
  • Hurdles remain, but American Airlines and US Airways are one step closer to a possible merger. The companies say they have signed legal documents which allow them to exchange information confidentially.
  • Because of surging demand for cars and jet aircraft, factory orders rose 2.8 percent in July.  At the same time, the Commerce Department says a category tracking business investment plans fell for the fourth time in five months.
  • The drought baking much of the nation's farmland, fields and forests this summer is causing unforeseen problems for thousands of Americans. Homeowners have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to repair cracked foundations, basements, walls, ceilings and windows because of shifting caused by drying of soil. Even worse, insurance rarely covers the damage.

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