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Monday Evening Business Brief

November 12, 2012, 5:36 PM

Monday Evening Business Brief
  • Stocks closed little changed on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average ended a quarter point lower at 12,815. The S&P 500 was up a fraction to 1,380, while the Nasdaq lost less than a point to 2,904.
  • J.C. Penney stock fell nearly 13 percent today, the biggest percentage decline among big companies in the S&P 500. A more prolonged drop follows S&P Ratings move to lower Penney's credit rating deeper into junk status on Friday. That same day, the company reported its third consecutive quarter of big losses and sales declines. Penney's decided earlier this year to get rid of hundreds of coupons and sales in favor of predictable prices.
  • There's trouble in the land of Twinkies and Ding Dongs. Hostess Brands is permanently closing three bakeries following a nationwide strike by its bakers union. The Texas-based baked goods maker says the strike has prevented it from producing and delivering products. Thousands of members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike earlier this month to protest wage and benefit cuts.
  • Federal health inspectors have found more than a dozen sterility problems, including insects, at a drugmaking facility with the same founders as the specialty pharmacy linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak. The FDA released the results of a monthlong inspection of Ameridose, a Westborough, Mass.-based company that makes a variety of injectable drugs.
  • A source says Kodak has reached an agreement to borrow $793 million, potentially allowing it to exit bankruptcy protection early next year. The printing and photography company would borrow the money from a private investment firm, Centerbridge Partners, and the lending arms of asset management firm The Blackstone Group and banks JP Morgan Chase and UBS.

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