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Tuesday Evening Business Brief

September 6, 2011, 5:38 PM

Tuesday Evening Business Brief
The Dow is now off to its worst September start in nine years. Stocks lost ground for the third straight day, though the Dow did rally to finish down just over 100 points -- at 11,139.30. It had earlier been down more than 300 points, with steep declines in European stocks causing more investor fears here at home.
  • Oil prices closed lower on fears the U.S. And Europe are headed for a prolonged economic slump. The benchmark price on the New York Mercantile Exchange was down 43 cents at $86.02 a barrel.
  • The Postal Service says it's on the "verge of default" unless Congress acts by month's end. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told lawmakers if they don't change the law governing postal operations, the agency will default on a mandated $5.5 billion payment to the Treasury. He says the Postal Service is facing losses of at least $8 billion this year.
  • Target and Gap are among major retailers and suppliers who have agreed to almost entirely stop using the toxic metal cadmium in jewelry and other accessories. The settlement with a California environmental group calls for jewelry sold at stores in the state to have less than three-hundredths of a percent of cadmium starting next year.
  • The nation's biggest drugstore chain says contract renewal talks with one of the country's largest pharmacy benefits managers are at an impasse. Walgreens says it plans to stop filling prescriptions managed by Express Scripts on January first -- a move that would cost the chain about $5.3 billion in
    annual revenue.

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