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Monday Morning Business Brief

January 7, 2013, 6:03 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

Investors are hoping the stock market extends the rally that began last week. The S&P 500 rose seven points on Friday, closing at 1,466, its highest level in five years. The Dow Jones industrial average finished 44 points higher. The Nasdaq rose one point. ZFutures trading suggests a lower opening today.

  • International stock markets cooled off today as some investors sold shares to lock in profits following recent rallies. One strategist says it appears markets are entering a consolidation phase after recent gains. Benchmark oil has fallen below $93 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro but fell against the yen.
  • International banking regulators have agreed on rules meant to ensure banks keep enough cash in hand to survive future market crises. The body that oversees the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which sets international rules, says the so-called "liquidity coverage ratio" will be phased in from the beginning of 2015 and take full effect four years later.
  • HBO is renewing its deal with Universal Pictures to be the exclusive pay-TV provider of the studio's movies for another decade. Financial terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.  HBO, part of Time Warner, and Universal Pictures, part of Comcast, have had an agreement in place since 2003. It includes movies produced by Universal and its specialty films unit, Focus Features.
  • There's controversy and fascination over the visit to North Korea of Google's executive chairman. Eric Schmidt arrived today in a country considered to have the world's most restrictive Internet policies. Washington has criticized the trip as not "helpful."

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