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Tuesday Evening Business Brief

January 17, 2012, 5:32 PM by Karen Sherman

Tuesday Evening Business Brief
Stocks made gains in the first trading session of a holiday-shortened week. After positive signs about Europe's debt markets and China's growth eased fears of a global economic slowdown, the Dow closed up 60 points, or 0.5 percent, at 12,482.  The S-and-P closed up 5, or 0.4 percent, at 1,294. And the Nasdaq closed up 17, or 0.6 percent, at 2,728.
  • Greece today resumed talks with its international debt inspectors. If Greece defaults on its debts, it could trigger a chain reaction that might ultimately destroy the euro. The debt inspectors are looking for more ways to cut spending and raise revenue.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered AirTran Airways to reinstate a former pilot who was fired after a sudden spike in the number of mechanical problems he reported. The agency also is requiring the airline to pay more than $1 million to the pilot in back wages, plus interest and compensatory damages. 
  • The Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists say they've agreed to a plan to combine their unions. SAG represents 125,000 actors, while AFTRA represents 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists. Some 45,000 of AFTRA's members also belong to SAG. The merger plan will be recommended later this month to the unions' boards.
  • The AFL-CIO is launching a new advertising campaign to promote unions as a voice for all working people. The move comes amid declining membership and growing hostility to organized labor in a number of states. The TV ads began today in Pittsburgh and Austin, Texas. Officials say they'll expand to other cities in the coming months.

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