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Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

September 19, 2012, 1:14 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Better news on the housing market has helped the stock market to post a modest rally. It has lifted the Dow above the 13,600 level.
  • Taken together, a reported increase in sales of previously occupied homes and word of further gains in home construction suggest the housing recovery is gaining momentum. The National Association of Realtors says sales of previously-owned homes rose nearly 8 percent in August to the highest in more than 2 years.
  • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein says austerity measures are not what the U.S. economy needs right now. Speaking in Toronto, Blankfein said that, quoting here, "you can't austere yourself into a higher GDP".
  • Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates remains the nation's richest person by far. He takes the top spot on the Forbes 400 list for the 19th year running, with a net worth of $66 billion.
  • Oil prices have dropped for a third straight day. Benchmark crude was recently trading below $92 a barrel in New York.

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