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Friday Morning Business Brief

October 19, 2012, 5:53 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief
  • Traders hope to end the week on a positive note after stocks lost ground across the board yesterday. The Dow Jones industrial average begins the day at 13,550 after losing eight points yesterday. The Standard and Poor's 500 index fell three points and stands at 1,457. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 31 points and begins the day at 3,073. It was dragged lower by an eight percent drop in Google, its third-largest component.
  • Overseas stocks have been falling today, as disappointing U.S. corporate earnings prompt investors to book profits on recent gains. Investors are also looking for a progress report on Europe's debt crisis from the EU summit. Oil prices are also lower.
  • European leaders meeting in Brussels say they have taken a step towards creating a banking union. They're setting up a single supervisor for banks in countries that use the euro. However, details over when it will be up and running have yet to be ironed out.
  • There's only one piece of economic news set for release today. The National Association of Realtors issues its monthly report on the sale of previously owned homes. Analysts are looking for sales to come in at an adjusted annual rate of around 4.7 million.
  • It's been a tough year for apple growers in the Northeast and Midwest, but a boom year for Washington state. Warm spring weather in states like New York and Michigan tricked apple trees into budding too soon, and production is down as much as 90 percent in some places. On the other hand, Washington is having a near record harvest, and growers there are expecting higher demand and prices for their produce.

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