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Friday Afternoon Business Brief

January 10, 2014, 1:39 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Stocks are mixed in afternoon trading on Wall Street as investors react to a disappointing employment report. The Labor Department says only 74,000 jobs were added to payrolls in December, the fewest in three years and far less than economists were expecting. The dollar fell and bond prices rose as traders bet that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low.
  • Target says more people than it first thought were affected by a data breach it revealed last month, and more kinds of personal information has been compromised. It originally said about 40 million credit and debit cards may have been affected by a data breach that happened between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. It now says investigators found criminals also took data unrelated to credit cards for some 70 million shoppers who could have made purchases outside the time frame of late November to mid-December.
  • The House has overwhelmingly passed a bill to impose new security requirements on President Barack Obama's health care law. Republicans say the bill addresses potential data breaches on the government website. Sixty-seven Democrats joined with Republicans to back the measure.
  • The Obama administration is parting ways with the lead outside contractor for the federal health care website following's disastrous launch. CGI Federal's current contract will not be renewed after February, according to a person familiar with the situation. Instead, the administration intends to hire tech company Accenture to run the website.
  • The Obama administration is proposing to remove special protections that guarantee Medicare recipients access to a wide selection of three types of drugs. The three classes of drugs are widely used antidepressants, antipsychotics and drugs that suppress the immune system after transplants. They've enjoyed special "protected" status since the launch of the Medicare prescription benefit in 2006 that requires insurance companies to cover them. Protected status would be retained for three other types of drugs, for cancer, HIV/AIDS and preventing seizures.

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