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Thursday Morning Business Brief

October 18, 2012, 5:45 AM

Thursday Morning Business Brief
  • Stocks finished with modest gains in the latest session. The Dow rose 5 points to 13,557. The S&P added 6 points to 1,461. The Nasdaq was up 3 points to 3,104. In the three days of the week so far, the key averages are up 1.7 to 2.3 percent.
  • A fresh reading of the job market is due today as the Labor Department releases new claims for unemployment benefits. The Conference Board has the forward-looking index of leading economic indicators for September.
  • World stocks have been on the rise Thursday after an unexpectedly strong U.S. housing report renewed confidence in the world's biggest economy and signs of a recovery in China. European stocks were mostly higher in early trading while in Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose sharply, gaining 2 percent.
  • A new report shows two-thirds of the national college class of 2011 finished school with loan debt -- and those who borrowed owe on average $26,600. That's up about 5 percent from the class before. The latest figures are calculated in a report by The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS).
  • European leaders are gathering in Brussels to discuss how to save the euro currency from collapse and support countries facing too much debt and not enough growth. The leaders of the 27 countries that make up the European Union will discuss how to support their banks -- just one part of the crisis. Few decisions are expected at the two-day summit which wraps up tomorrow.

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