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Thursday Morning Business Brief

November 3, 2011, 5:44 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief
 
Stocks closed with broad gains in the latest session. The Dow gained 178 points, or 1.5 percent, to close at 11,836. The S&P 500 was up 20 points, while the Nasdaq rose 33 points. Futures trading suggests a lower open this morning.
  • International stock markets fell today for the fourth straight day as a European deal to bail Greece out of its financial mess appeared to be on the verge of unraveling. Markets have been gripped by uncertainty since Greece's prime minister unexpectedly announced Monday that he would call a national vote on the European bailout plan that entails painful austerity measures.
  • Oil prices fell to near $91 a barrel today in Asia after Germany's leader said a Greek vote in December on a debt bailout package could lead to Greece leaving the euro zone. If Greek voters decide to reject the debt bailout package - which includes fiscal austerity measures to help lower debt levels - Greece could face a chaotic bond default that would undermine European banks.
  • Greece's embattled Socialist government is on the point of imploding today amid a revolt against Prime Minister George Papandreou's planned referendum on the country's international bailout package. Several ministers and lawmakers called for an emergency meeting of the governing Socialists in parliament, where Papandreou has convened a cabinet session for noon.
  • A busy day is ahead for economic reports. They include new weekly unemployment claims from the Labor Department, ahead of Friday's monthly report on unemployment. The Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for October, while the Commerce Department has factory orders. Retailers release their October sales numbers.

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