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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

January 17, 2013, 1:15 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks keep pushing higher today. Strong reports on housing starts and unemployment claims set an optimist mood this morning. The Dow is up more than 100 points in afternoon trading, while the Nasdaq is about 25 points higher and the S&P 500 has hit a new five-year high.

  • International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde says a global financial collapse has been stopped, but the challenge now is to avoid a relapse. Lagarde sees signs of a waning commitment to regulate the financial sector and warns that developed economies still need to follow through on financial reforms and debt reduction.
  • Boeing says production of its 787 is continuing as planned, even though airlines have grounded the plane over of safety concerns. Investigators are trying to solve electrical problems that have caused one battery to catch fire and another to leak in the past two weeks. Boeing builds about five of the 787s every month, but it's unclear whether airlines are accepting new deliveries.
  • A former superintendent at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia has been sentenced to 21 months in prison and a $20,000 fine. Gary May has admitted to defrauding the government by disabling a methane gas monitor and falsifying records at the mine, where an explosion killed 29 miners in 2010. May has cooperated with prosecutors in their continuing criminal investigation of the blast.
  • Germany's central bank is shelving plans to help fight currency counterfeiting in Bangladesh. The Bundesbank says it is disturbed by reports that Bangladesh is planning to include execution among the possible punishments for violators. The Bundesbank says the death penalty is excessive and it will not participate unless the plans are clearly dropped.

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