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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

July 12, 2012, 1:23 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks have been moving lower again today, with investors unable to break out of their worry about a deteriorating global economic outlook. The Dow is on track for its sixth-straight session decline.

  • It may have only been a temporary blip, but the number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in four years. One big reason is that some automakers skipped their traditional summer shutdowns to keep up with demand, leading to fewer temporary layoffs. 
  • BP has agreed to pay $13 million to settle charges of failing to fix safety violations at its Texas City oil refinery after a 2005 explosion killed 15 workers. The payment is the latest move toward resolving hundreds of violations at the plant alleged by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  • The Justice Department says Wells Fargo will pay at least $175 million. The bank is settling accusations that it violated fair-lending laws. It allegedly discriminated against otherwise qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers in its mortgage lending from 2004 through 2009.
  • United Airlines is buying 150 Boeing 737s, planning to use them to replace older, less fuel-efficient planes. That includes 100 of the new 737 Max 9s, due to start arriving at United in 2018.

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