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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

December 5, 2013, 1:31 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks are falling in afternoon trading on Wall Street. More positive news about the economy has investors worried that the Federal Reserve might scale back its stimulus efforts soon. Traders are also awaiting tomorrow's employment report for November.

  • House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says her rank and file won't support any year-end budget deal unless it includes plans to extend expiring unemployment benefits for long-term victims of the recession. Majority Republicans in the House haven't ruled out extending the benefits that are due to begin expiring on Dec. 28, but say they have no plans to pursue legislation on their own.
  • Fast-food workers and labor organizers are marching, waving signs and chanting in cities across the country amid a push for higher wages. Organizers say walkouts are planned in 100 cities, with rallies set for another 100 cities. Protesters are calling for pay of $15 an hour, but the figure is seen more as a rallying point than a near-term possibility.
  • Microsoft shares are down after Ford CEO Alan Mulally said there's been no change in his plan to stay with the automaker through the end of next year. That's dampening some investors' hopes he would take over the software giant after CEO Steve Ballmer retires. That's expected to happen no later than August.
  • The maker of a popular Android mobile app that turns your phone into a flashlight has agreed to settle government charges of deceiving customers. The Federal Trade Commission said the "Brightest Flashlight Free" app would take note of a phone's location and the code that uniquely identifies every device on the market. The FTC says the company, Goldenshores Technologies, would automatically pass that information to marketers, even though its privacy policies said it wouldn't.

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