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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

November 21, 2012, 5:07 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief
  • Stocks staged a modest rally ahead of the holiday, putting the key averages on track for solid gains for the week. The Dow gained 48 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,837. The S&P rose 3 points, while the Nasdaq surged nearly 10 points.
  • A bankruptcy court judge has approved Hostess Brands' request to begin winding down operations. The ruling came after the maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs failed in last-ditch negotiations to end a strike by its second-largest union. That means that Hostess can now shed its 18,000 workers and sell off its brands.
  • Throughout most of the nation, drivers traveling this holiday are finding lower gasoline prices. Auto club AAA says the national average for gasoline is $3.43 a gallon, down 44 cents from mid-September, but up from the beginning of the year. Gas prices are expected to continue falling through year-end.
  • Toyota is recalling about 150,000 Tacoma midsize pickups because the spare tires can fall from beneath the trucks. The affected trucks from the 2001 to 2004 model years were sold or registered in 20 cold-weather states and Washington, D.C.
  • Mortgage rates fell to new record lows this week. Freddie Mac says the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate loans fell to 3.31 percent, the lowest on records dating back to 1971.

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