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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

July 5, 2012, 1:18 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are narrowly mixed ahead of tomorrow's monthly unemployment report. Investors have been treated to mixed news on the economy today including some disappointing retail sales reports, but better news on the job market.

  • Central banks in China and Europe have moved to cut interest rates today. The Bank of England approved a 50 billion pound injection into the ailing British economy, while the European Central Bank cut its main interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.75 percent, the lowest since the bank was established in 1999.
  • Reports from individual retailers indicate that consumers cut back on spending in June.  Less-than-forecast sales numbers were reported by Costco, Macy's and Target.
  • A federal judge in Boston has signed off an agreement by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion for criminal and civil violations involving 10 drugs that are taken by millions of people. The company pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to promoting popular antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved uses.
  • An Italian judge has lifted the house arrest order for the captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruiser liner. At the same time, the judge says the captain must remain in his hometown near Naples during the criminal investigation stemming from the accident off the Tuscan coast that killed 32 people.

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