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Monday Morning Business Brief

December 9, 2013, 5:38 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

Traders appear less concerned about the possibility the Federal Reserve will pull back its stimulus soon. That's because hiring is now showing consistent strength. Stocks rose sharply Friday after the government reported a fourth straight month of solid U.S. job gains. The Dow closed up nearly 199 points. The S&P 500 rose 20 points. And the Nasdaq climbed 29 points. Futures point to gains at this morning's opening.

  • International stock markets were mostly higher today as signs of U.S. economic recovery offset concerns that the Federal Reserve may reduce its monetary stimulus this month. Benchmark crude oil rose to near $98 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.
  • A survey of business economists finds a majority predict the Federal Reserve will begin to pull back on its massive economic stimulus program in the first three months of 2014. The survey by the National Association of Business Economists also shows a majority of economists believe the United States' economic recovery will accelerate next year.
  • American Airlines emerges from bankruptcy protection and US Airways concludes its long pursuit of a merger partner today when the two complete their deal creating the world's biggest airline. The merger survived a challenge from the government and criticism from consumer groups, who fear it will lead to higher prices. It's the latest in a series of mergers that will leave four airlines controlling more than 80 percent of the U.S. air-travel market and with more power than ever to limit seats and boost profits.
  • Japan slashed its estimate of economic growth for the July-September quarter today as investment by companies slowed more than first estimated. The government said the world's third-largest economy grew an annualized 1.1 percent last quarter, less than half the pace of the previous quarter. The initial estimate had put growth at 1.9 percent.

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