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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

August 28, 2012, 1:15 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Stock prices have been firm but little changed today. Ahead of Labor Day weekend, trading is some of the lightest of the year with many investing professionals on vacation.
  • The biggest gainer among stocks in the S&P 500 is Lexmark International, up more than 10 percent. It plans to stop making ink-jet printers and will get rid of about 1,700 employees, or about 13 percent of its work force.
  • The Conference Board says consumer confidence has dropped this month to the lowest since November of last year.  Because of worsening expectations, the group's index fell to 60.6, down from 65.4 in July.
  • The remnants of Hurricane Isaac could bring much-needed rain to some states in the Mississippi River valley this week, but experts say it will not likely break the drought gripping the Midwest. Heavy rain could help traffic on the Mississippi River, where low water levels have been a problem for weeks.
  • The FDIC says U.S. bank earnings rose 21 percent in the April-June quarter.  And as their finances improved, banks were lending more to consumers.

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