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Thursday Evening Business Brief

September 20, 2012, 5:10 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief
  • Stock prices were mixed on Wall Street. The Dow gained 19 points to 13,597. The S&P fell nearly a point, while the Nasdaq composite slipped nearly 7 points.
  • Oracle posted earnings that matched analyst estimates. But, a revenue decline signals the business software maker is having a tougher time closing deals.
  • Senate investigators say Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and other multinational corporations have avoided billions in U.S. taxes by shifting profits offshore and taking advantage of weak, ambiguous sections of the tax code. The report from a Senate panel says the software giant used "aggressive" transactions to shift assets to subsidiaries in Puerto Rico, Ireland and Singapore, in part to avoid taxes.
  • Standard & Poor's cut the credit rating of the Washington Post Co. to "BBB". It cites deteriorating performance at its Kaplan education unit and continuing declines in newspaper advertising revenue.
  • This should help drivers paying at the gasoline pump. Benchmark crude has dropped 7 percent since last Friday. It was down 11 cents today to settle at just under $92 a barrel in New York.

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