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Friday Morning Business Brief

August 31, 2012, 5:44 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

Stocks saw a bit of added volatility yesterday, for the first time this week. The Dow dropped 107 points to 13,001. The S&P declined 11 points, while the Nasdaq fell 32.

  • International stock markets were mixed today as investors waited for a speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, hoping for possible signs of new U.S. stimulus. Many Asian markets slipped while European exchanges showed gains in early trading. Benchmark crude oil rose above $95 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.
  • Once a year, the financial markets care about news coming out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and today's the day. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addresses an annual conference. Investors and economists will be looking for clues about future monetary policy moves.
  • Official figures show that the unemployment rate across the 17 countries that use the euro remained at a record high of 11.3 percent in July, the same as in June but up 1.2 points from a year earlier. The data published today by the European Union's statistical agency, Eurostat, show the financial crisis continues to hurt the economy, with the jobless rate continuing to creep higher to record levels in Spain and Greece.
  • Samsung has won a round against Apple in Japan. A Tokyo court has dismissed Apple's claim that Samsung had infringed on its patent. Samsung lost a big decision in the U.S. but a number of other suits are pending globally over smartphones.

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