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Thursday Evening Business Brief

November 3, 2011, 5:05 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief
On Wall Street, stocks closed higher after Greece scrapped a referendum on unpopular budget cuts and U.S. unemployment claims fell to the lowest level in five weeks. The Dow rose 208 points, or 1.8 percent, to 12,044. The S&P 500 gained 23 points, while the Nasdaq surged 58.
  • World leaders' efforts to help Europe with its debt troubles are facing the challenge of uncertainty over Greece's political convulsions and doubts whether Italy will enact economic reforms designed to save it from financial disaster. President Barack Obama, sidelined at the summit by the focus on Europe, implored European leaders to swiftly work out details of a rescue plan, aware of the political fallout back in the United States if they fail. 
  • Republicans in the Senate have dealt President Barack Obama the third in a string of defeats on his agenda, blocking a $60 billion measure for building and repairing infrastructure like roads and rail lines. Supporters of the failed measure said it would have created tens of thousands of construction jobs and lifted the still-struggling economy. But Republicans unanimously opposed it for its tax surcharge on the wealthy and spending totals they said were too high.
  • Advanced Micro Devices says it is cutting some 1,400 workers as a weak computer market and manufacturing delays have hurt the world's second-biggest maker of microprocessors for PCs. The cuts would amount to about 12 percent of the workforce.
  • Retail sales were on the rise last month, but not as much as expected. The International Council of Shopping Centers' tally shows a gain of 3.7 percent from a year ago. Among those failing to hit Wall Street estimates was Macy's, Saks and Target.


     

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