Monday Evening Business Brief
September 16, 2013, 6:20 PM
- Stocks rose on Wall Street after former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who had been the leading candidate to replace Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, withdrew his name from consideration. Summers was viewed as being more likely than some other candidates to rein in the government's massive stimulus program, which has kept interest rates low and boosted corporate profits. Stocks also were helped today by news that U.S. factory output rose 0.7 percent in August, the most in eight months.
- The price of oil fell below $107 a barrel today as fears eased about a Middle East conflict after an international deal intended to halt the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The benchmark oil contract for October delivery fell $1.62 to $106.59 a barrel in New York. The contract for November delivery for Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.63 to $110.07 a barrel in London.
- President Barack Obama is warning that the country could face "economic chaos" if congressional Republicans take a no-compromise, hardline stance when the White House and Congress try to reach an accommodation on federal spending later this month. Obama told an audience today that a faction within the GOP is insisting on, quote, "100 percent of what it wants."
- Most of the top names and rankings have remained the same on the Forbes annual list of the top 400 richest Americans. What's different this time is around is that the majority of the elite club's members saw their fortunes grow over the past year, helped by strong stock and real estate markets. Forbes senior editor Kerry Dolan says, quote, "Basically, the mega rich are mega richer."
- U.S. Sen. Max Baucus said today that his effort to revamp the tax code helped attract some of the business world's biggest names to Montana for a jobs conference that touched on taxes, energy development and many other issues. Baucus opened the Montana Jobs Summit in Butte - an old mining town almost a century removed from its heyday - with the leaders of companies such as Google Inc., Facebook, Ford Motor Co., FedEx Corp., The Boeing Co. and others.
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