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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

August 22, 2012, 5:45 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief

Stocks closed mixed, bouncing off their session lows amid signs from the Federal Reserve that it could do more to help the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 31 points at 13,172. The Nasdaq composite index gained six points at 3,074. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained a fraction of a point to 1,413.

  • The minutes of the latest Fed meeting show that officials spoke with increased urgency about the need to provide more help to the sputtering economy. The minutes don't specify what action might be taken.
  • Oil prices rose after the Fed minutes were released. The price of benchmark crude rose 42 cents to $97.26 a barrel. Oil prices are up about $8 per barrel this month, partly on hopes that the U.S., Europe and China will do more to increase growth in their respective economies.
  • The jury is now deliberating in the multi-billion dollar patent trial that pits Apple against Samsung. Apple claims Samsung stole its iPad and iPhone technology. Samsung makes a similar counter-claim.
  • It is the biggest loss in Hewlett-Packard history. The company confirms it lost almost $9 billion in its most recent quarter. Much of that is the result of a failed acquisition.

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