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Monday Afternoon Business Brief

June 4, 2012, 1:19 PM

Monday Afternoon Business Brief

Relative calm is being seen on Wall Street today after last week's selling. The Dow opened at the lowest level since December. It remains down in afternoon trading, as are the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, though the losses are relatively modest.

  • France's new foreign minister says he is confident Paris will bridge its differences with Berlin over how to resolve the eurozone debt crisis. French President Francois Hollande has called for a much greater focus on economic growth despite pressures for austerity.
  • The Commerce Department says companies placed fewer orders to U.S. factories for the second straight month in April. Orders for durable goods were down 0.6 percent while demand for so-called core capital goods, such as heavy machinery and computers, dropped 2.1 percent in April.
  • Wal-Mart's final shareholder vote for its board of directors shows some dissent against key executives and board members, including CEO Mike Duke, in the wake of allegations of bribery in Mexico. The tally released today shows 13 percent of the 3.4 billion shares were voted against the re-election of Duke.
  • The Supreme Court has rejected a request from homeowners in Indianapolis who sought tax refunds when the city changed its plan for paying for a new sewer line. In a 6-3 ruling, the court has upheld the city's decision to refuse to refund taxes that some homeowners paid up front while it forgave the remaining taxes for people who paid on an installment plan.

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