Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief
October 8, 2013, 1:49 PM
- Washington's budget gridlock and the risk of a U.S. default have been driving the stock market steadily lower. The Dow was down more than 100 points in afternoon trading, while the broader indexes are seeing steeper losses. The S&P 500 is off about 1 percent, while the Nasdaq is close to 2 percent lower.
- The possibility of a national default is growing closer as the partial government shutdown lingers on. President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone this morning and both say they want to talk more. But they remain deeply divided over the timing and nature of those talks. The president says he will not negotiate under the threat of "economic chaos" and Congress needs to vote immediately to reopen the government and raise the debt limit. Boehner says he's "not drawing lines in the sand."
- Farm groups are appealing a judge's decision to uphold federal pollution limits designed to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The Environmental Protection Agency says farm runoff is the single largest source of pollutants in the bay and the limits are intended to reduce levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that harm its ecology. The head of the American Farm Bureau Federation says the decision "has dangerous implications for farmers and many others."
- An Italian court has banned beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev from using the Budweiser trademark in that country. Anheuser-Busch has been fighting with the state-owned Czech brewery known as Budvar for more than a century over use of the Budweiser brand. Budvar argues that only beer brewed in its part of the Czech Republic can be called Budweiser. The Italian court ruled in Budvar's favor, and its lager will now be allowed to return to the Italian market.
- Some investors may have thought they were about to get rich when they started snapping up a 1 cent stock last week after Twitter unveiled plans for its initial public offering. The trouble is that 1 cent stock was not Twitter, which isn't yet available, but Tweeter. After Tweeter shares surged as high as 15 cents on Friday, they are back down to a penny -- and regulators have changed Tweeter's symbol to avoid further confusion. The electronics chain filed for bankruptcy protection in 2007.
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