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Friday Midday Business Brief

December 27, 2013, 9:59 AM

Friday Midday Business Brief
  • Stocks have resumed their rise on Wall Street on what is expected to be another light trading day. The Dow was up as much as 45 points in the first few minutes of trading before settling back somewhat. The S&P 500 has been slightly higher since the open, but the Nasdaq has dipped into negative territory. The blue-chip index recorded its 50th record high close of 2013 yesterday and is up more than 25 percent for the year.
  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has climbed above the psychologically important 3 percent mark, rising to 3.01 percent. Bond yields have steadily climbed since Dec. 18, when the Federal Reserve announced it was paring back its bond-buying economic stimulus program.
  • Oil prices are edging above $100 a barrel today. Benchmark crude for February delivery was up to $99.67 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  Oil prices gained nearly 3 percent last week as optimism about the U.S. economic recovery lifted expectations for the country's energy demand. Meanwhile, AAA says the nationwide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is about $3.28.
  • General Motors shares are down today on news that the Detroit automaker and its main Chinese partner are recalling almost 1.5 million cars to replace a bracket that secures a fuel pump. China's product quality agency says the bracket might crack and in extreme cases cause a fuel leak. The recall is GM's second this year in China.
  • Global markets have been rallying today. In Europe, Germany's DAX is trading near record highs at mid-session, while the France's benchmark index was up 1.0 percent and Britain's FTSE is up 0.7 percent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei made only a slight gain, but it's closing out a big year. Since January, the Nikkei has risen more than 50 percent.

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