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Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

November 2, 2011, 1:16 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief
Stocks are on the rise today, after two days of heavy losses. Investors are hopeful that an international rescue package for Greece will still be enacted. The market got a mood boost with word of private jobs creation ahead of Friday's more important Labor Department report.
  • The Federal Reserve is describing a modestly improved outlook for the economy as it wrapped-up a two-day policy-setting session. The central bank is making no new policy prescriptions while noting that the economy has strengthened and that consumers have lifted spending.
  • The government says unemployment rates fell in about three-quarters of large U.S. cities in September. The Labor Department says unemployment rates fell in 280 large metro areas from August to September. They rose in 61 and were unchanged in 31.  That's the largest number of cities to see a decline since April. 
  • Some 40 House Republicans have joined some 60 Democrats in pressing Congress' special debt reduction committee to consider all options, including higher revenues, and shoot for $4 trillion in savings. The letter puts about one-sixth of House GOP lawmakers on record as saying the supercommittee should consider collecting more taxes to help shrink the enormous national debt, now at $14.8 trillion. Most Republicans have strongly opposed raising revenues to address the problem.
  • Discount retailer Syms Corp. and its Filene's Basement unit have filed for bankruptcy protection and plan to close all 46 of their stores. The stores, mostly in the Eastern U.S., employ nearly 2,500 people.

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