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Thursday Evening Business Brief

December 12, 2013, 6:59 PM

Thursday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are lower on Wall Street as prospects for a budget deal and more signs of a U.S. recovery suggest the Federal Reserve may wind down its economic stimulus. The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 104 points to close at 15,739. The S&P 500 index lost seven points to 1,775. The Nasdaq composite dropped five points to 3,998.

  • Concern about weak demand for gasoline and diesel fuel are offsetting solid retail sales data in the U.S. That kept oil prices about the same today. Benchmark crude for January delivery rose only 6 cents to close $97.50 in New York. At the gas pump, the average price for a gallon dipped 1 cent to $3.25. That's up 6 cents from a month ago.
  • Boeing is expected to respond today to a Machinists union proposal that would keep much of the work on its new 777X plane in Washington state. Meanwhile, the company says it' shifting hundreds of jobs to Alabama, Missouri and South Carolina as it restructures its research and technology operations. Jobs will be lost in Washington state and California as a result.
  • Ford says 2014 will be its busiest year ever, with 23 new vehicles being introduced around the world. Ford's president of the Americas says Ford will support that growth with 5,000 new hires in the U.S. and 6,000 new jobs in Asia, where it's opening two new plants. A new F-150 pickup and Mustang sports car are among the vehicles coming next year.
  • A panel of federal health advisers is backing the benefits of an experimental diabetes drug that uses a new method to reduce blood sugar, setting aside previous concerns about the pill's safety. The panel voted 13-1 in favor of the drug from Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca. The once-a-day pill is designed to help diabetics eliminate excess sugar in their urine.

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