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Monday Afternoon Business Brief

February 6, 2012, 1:26 PM

Monday Afternoon Business Brief
Stocks have moved modestly lower on Wall Street.  On Friday, the Dow closed at its highest level since May 2008, while the Nasdaq composite index closed at its highest level since December 2000.
  • Greece's coalition government is giving in to demands to cut civil service jobs. It has announced 15,000 positions will be reduced this year, amid mounting international pressure to agree on austerity measures needed to secure major new debt agreements.
  • President Barack Obama has slapped tough new sanctions on Iran's central bank. The move comes amid rising tensions over Tehran's nuclear program and the specter of an Israeli attack on the Islamic republic.
  • The U.S. has ended a nine-year spat with the European Union and Japan over the way Washington imposes anti-dumping charges on foreign goods. U.S. trade officials say under a deal signed in Geneva, the U.S. will bring the way it determines tariffs on goods exported at below-market price into line with World Trade Organization rules.
  • Verizon Communications is ready to challenge Netflix by starting a video streaming service this year with Redbox and its DVD rental kiosks. To build the service, Verizon will take advantage of the relationships with Hollywood studios and other content producers it has built through its FiOS fiber optic cable service.

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