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Wednesday Business Brief

July 18, 2012, 6:08 AM

Wednesday Business Brief

With a Tuesday advance, the Dow has chalked up its third positive close for the month of July. The Dow was up 78 points, or 0.6 percent, to 12,806. The S&P rose 10, while the Nasdaq was up 13 points. Futures trading suggests a lower opening today.

  • Most Asian stock markets dropped Wednesday despite upbeat U.S. corporate earnings as the Federal Reserve chief warned another recession is possible without giving a hint at plans for stimulus. European markets advanced in early trading, having already digested Ben Bernanke's report. Benchmark crude oil fell below $89 a barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and gained against the euro.
  • Back to Capitol Hill today for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He'll talk about the outlook and risks facing the economy before a House panel. Yesterday, he told members of the Senate Banking Committee that the central bank is still looking at signs of a slowdown, but wasn't ready to promise new action to boost growth.
  • The heads of three parties supporting Greece's month-old coalition government are working on final details of a $14.1 billion austerity package demanded by international rescue creditors. Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met with leaders of the Socialist party and small Democratic Left party today after five days of Cabinet-level talks failed to produce sufficient cuts.
  • Some of China's biggest companies, from tech giants to airlines and retailers, are warning of unexpectedly sharp drops in profit of up to 80 percent. The warnings add to the pressure on Beijing to reverse a painful economic slump. The woes facing even politically favored companies highlight the challenges for the authoritarian country's leaders.

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