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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

January 12, 2012, 1:52 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief
It's an up-and-down day on Wall Street. Stocks have been mostly lower, with a few swings into positive territory. The euro is rising against the dollar as borrowing rates fall in Italy and Spain. Shares of Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil were down at midday.
  • A senior Greek finance ministry official says the country could have a deal with private bondholders in a critical debt swap by the end of next week. The formal public offer could come at the beginning of February. The debt-stricken country faces a major bond redemption of $18.47 billion in late March.
  • There's a mixed bag of economic news today.Jobless claims were up last week as companies let go of thousands of workers after the holiday season. Paltry retail sales in December were enough to boost sales to a record level for 2011. Businesses increased their stockpiles in November. And fixed-rate
    mortgages hit a new low.
  • CVS Caremark says it will pay $5 million to resolve allegations that one of its subsidiaries understated the price of several drugs on a Medicare website. The payment will reimburse Medicare prescription drug beneficiaries who paid more than they expected for the drugs, in some cases 10 times higher than the listed prices.
  • Target is teaming up with some specialty shops to create affordable, limited-edition merchandise for sale at its stores. Target says it will start featuring products from five shops on May 6. The shops will be open for six weeks and then be replaced with different shops in the fall.


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