Thursday Evening Business Brief
December 26, 2013, 6:30 PM
- Stocks are higher in quiet trading on Wall Street as traders returned from the Christmas holiday. Investors were encouraged by a sharp drop last week in the number of Americans applying for jobless benefits. The Dow climbed 122 points to close at 16,479. The S&P 500 rose nearly nine points to 1,842. The Nasdaq was up nearly 12 points to 4,167.
- Oil prices are edging higher, as violence in South Sudan stokes concerns about that nation's oil production. Benchmark crude for February delivery was up 33 cents to close at $99.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. At the gas pump, the average price of a gallon of regular is $3.27. That's up 6 cents from a week ago, and up 21 cents from this time last year.
- President Barack Obama has signed bipartisan budget legislation that'll prevent another government shutdown for nearly two years. Obama signed the bill today while vacationing in Hawaii. The deal reduces across-the-board cuts already scheduled to take effect, restoring about $63 billion over two years. It includes a projected $85 billion in other savings.
- President Barack Obama has signed into law a comprehensive defense bill. It provides $552.1 billion for the regular military budget, plus $80.7 billion for the Afghanistan war and other overseas operations. The legislation gives military personnel a 1 percent pay raise and also aims to crack down on sexual assault in the military.
- Some lucky fliers are elated they scored some really cheap flights on Delta Air Lines -- all because of a computer glitch. For about two hours today, some fares on Delta's website and other airfare booking sites were showing up incorrectly, offering an incredible deal. A Delta spokesman says the carrier will honor those tickets. He says the problem has been fixed.
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