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Thursday Morning Business Brief

September 27, 2012, 5:43 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief

Stock prices edged lower yesterday. The Dow fell 44 points to 13,414. The S&P dropped 8 points, while the Nasdaq was down 24. Futures trading suggest gains at today's opening.

  • International stock markets moved modestly higher today, underpinned by speculation that China's central bank will ease monetary policy next week when Chinese and Hong Kong markets are closed for an extended holiday. Benchmark crude oil rose above $90 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.
  • Among the economic reports due today is a look at weekly jobless claims. Also, the National Association of Realtors pending home sales, which is a forward-looking snapshot of the housing market.
  • A survey by the European Union's executive arm finds that economic confidence among the 17 countries that use the euro has fallen to its lowest level in over three years. Meanwhile, Members of Greece's governing coalition are meeting to consider more cuts to keep getting rescue loans a day after massive anti-austerity protests.
  • With college enrollment growing, student debt has stretched to a record number of U.S. households - nearly 1 in 5 - with the biggest burdens falling on the young and poor. The analysis by the Pew Research Center found that 22.4 million households, or 19 percent, had college debt in 2010. That is double the share in 1989, and up from 15 percent in 2007, just prior to the recession.

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