Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief
September 3, 2013, 1:20 PM
- Investors aren't feeling as optimistic as they were earlier in the day. Stocks opened with some strong gains, after President Barack Obama said over the weekend that he would let Congress vote on a U.S. military strike on Syria. But by this afternoon, after congressional leaders in both parties voiced support for U.S. action, those gains had faded. The Dow moved into negative territory, dragged down by Microsoft and Verizon.
- Oil prices have been rising today as support emerged from congressional leaders for a U.S. military strike on Syria. By midday, benchmark crude for October delivery was above $108 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Syria isn't a major oil producer, but fears of a wider conflict have pushed oil prices higher in the past week.
- Shares in Microsoft have been six percent lower today, after the announcement that the company would buy Nokia's line-up of smartphones along with some patents and services. Microsoft's CEO, Steven Ballmer, told reporters in Finland -- where Nokia is based -- that the move is a "bold step into the future." But he later admitted that the company still has to play catch-up with the likes of Apple and Android.
- Kodak's trip through bankruptcy is now a memory for the scrapbook. Kodak says it finished its restructuring and exited Chapter 11 today. The company says it's now a commercial imaging company serving business markets such as packaging and graphics. Chairman and CEO Antonio Perez says it's on track for profitable growth.
- California has its raisins, Florida its oranges and Vermont has maple syrup. Now, Maine's lobster industry is trying to market its brand more broadly and increase sales of what's already the state's best-known seafood. A state law taking effect in October will raise the annual marketing budget for lobsters to more than $2.2 million, a six-fold increase. The goal is to grow demand in the U.S. and abroad, while increasing prices to help fishermen increase their income.
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