Monday Evening Business Brief
September 30, 2013, 6:34 PM
- Deep uncertainty about whether federal government operations will go on without interruption cast a pall over stock trading today, causing the Dow Jones industrial average to fall 128 points. Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 10 points as investors went into retreat amid a political battle in Washington where a divided Congress is threatening to push the government into partial shutdown status at midnight.
- President Barack Obama is ramping up pressure on Republicans to avoid a government shutdown. He says a shutdown would hurt the economy and hundreds of thousands of government workers. The president told reporters at the White House today that the Republican-dominated House must pass a short-term spending bill without attaching conditions designed to undermine the 3-year-old health care law.
- The price of oil fell today as a partial shutdown of the U.S. government loomed over the markets. Benchmark oil for November delivery dropped 54 cents to $102.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil fell as low as $101.05 before recovering. Stocks declined, as did gold and other metals.
- Attorneys told a judge in New Orleans today that BP lied to the U.S. government and withheld information about the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico after its well blew out in 2010. But lawyers for the London-based oil giant denied those accusations and said there was no way to prepare for such a unique blowout a mile below the sea floor.
- Allegiant Air says its fleet of MD-80 aircraft is back in service after an overhaul of emergency exit slides. Company spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler says service was normal nationwide, with no delays or cancellations because of the maintenance work. About 10 percent of Allegiant passengers endured cancellations for several days after the airline grounded its 52 MD-80s on Sept. 19 to check and service each exit chute. The planes seat 166 passengers.
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