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Friday Evening Business Brief

December 14, 2012, 5:30 PM

Friday Evening Business Brief

Stocks finished the trading week with a modest decline. The Dow fell 36 points to close at 13,135. The S&P dropped 6 points, while the Nasdaq was down 21 points.

  • After a promising start to the holiday shopping season over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, sales have slowed, according to an analysis of data done for The Associated Press by sales tracker ShopperTrak. That could put pressure on J.C. Penney, Macy's and other stores, which had been offering fewer discounts this season than they did last year.
  • The price of oil ended higher on positive signs for manufacturing in the U.S. and China. Benchmark crude rose 84 cents to settle at $86.73 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
  • New York City Comptroller John Liu has moved to reject the city's contract for a new fleet because the so-called "taxi of tomorrow" is not wheelchair-accessible. Liu is seen as a likely candidate in next year's race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • Federal health officials say they approved a new injectable drug from Human Genome Sciences to treat inhalable anthrax. The FDA says the drug (raxibacumab) will provide an alternative to antibiotic drugs that are currently the standard treatment for anthrax infection.

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