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Thursday Evening Business Brief

September 13, 2012, 5:35 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief

There was a strong rally for stocks after the Federal Reserve announced steps aimed at boosting growth and lowering unemployment. On a gain of more than 200 points, the Dow rose to 13,540. That's the highest level since December 2007.

  • The Fed says it will spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds for as long as necessary to make home buying more affordable. It is also extending a plan to keep short-term interest rates at record lows through mid-2015 - six months longer than previously planned. Chairman Ben Bernanke told reporters there's no specific economic target, but the central bank wants to see a better job market.
  • Gold and silver closed higher, along with other commodities, after the Federal Reserve said it would take aggressive steps to spur growth in the economy. The price of gold jumped more than 2 percent, and silver more than 4 percent.
  • The Treasury Department says the federal budget deficit increased $191 billion in August and tops $1 trillion for the fourth straight year. The deficit for the first 11 months of the 2012 budget year totaled $1.16 trillion. That's down 6 percent from a year earlier.
  • Chicago lawyer Donna Guerin has pleaded guilty to helping wealthy clients dodge tens of millions of dollars in taxes in what prosecutors have called the largest tax fraud prosecution in history.The charges carry a total of up to 10 years in prison. She also agreed to forfeit $1.6 million.

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