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Thursday Evening Business Brief

December 5, 2013, 6:55 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are lower on Wall Street as traders worry about weak results from retailers and indications the Federal Reserve may cut back on its economic stimulus. It was the market's fifth straight decline. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 68 points to close at 15,821 today. The S&P 500 index fell eight points to 1,785. The Nasdaq composite fell five points to 4,033.

  • The price of oil is edging higher. Traders appear pleased the U.S. economy grew more than expected in the third quarter. Benchmark crude for January delivery rose 18 cents at $97.38 a barrel in New York. Oil is up $4.66 a barrel, or 5 percent, this week. At the gas pump, the average price for a gallon of regular fell 1 penny to $3.25. That's down 3 cents from a week ago.
     
  • FedEx will raise its FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery rates in January in addition to raising express shipping rates. The Memphis, Tenn., company says ground and home delivery rates will increase by an average of 4.9 percent on Jan. 6. FedEx SmartPost rates will also change. Details of new surcharges and rates will be posted to the company's website tomorrow.
     
  • Southwest Airlines and Virgin America are buying takeoff and landing rights at New York's LaGuardia Airport that American Airlines and US Airways agreed to sell to win approval for their merger The carriers say the government has approved transfer of the coveted slots. The slots are very desirable because they're limited at the busy airport near Manhattan.
     
  • A proposal to build a $12.5 billion natural gas-to-liquids plant in Louisiana is being scrapped. Shell said today it's suspending further work on the project, which would have created 740 direct jobs and thousands more in spinoff work. The energy giant says the project isn't viable because of factors including high cost and uncertainty in long-term oil and gas prices.

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