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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

December 19, 2012, 5:32 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief

Stocks dropped today with no resolution immediately in sight to the "fiscal cliff". The Dow fell 99 points, or 0.7 percent, to 13,252. The S&P dropped 11, while the Nasdaq shed 10 points.

  • President Barack Obama says he and House Speaker John Boehner are "pretty close" to a grand deal to avoid a first-of-the-year shock to the economy.  His comments came shortly after the White House threatened to veto Boehner's backup plan for averting the "fiscal cliff." Boehner's measure, a so-called Plan B, would block tax increases from being triggered Jan. 1 on everyone but those whose incomes exceed $1 million.
  • During the final weekend before Christmas, shoppers should expect to see more "70 percent off" and "buy one, get one free" signs as stores try to salvage a season that so far has been disappointing. For example, Teen retailer Aeropostale has slashed prices on everything in its stores by 60 percent.
  • The price of oil rose after the government reported shrinking crude supplies. Benchmark crude jumped $1.58, or about 1.8 percent, to finish at $89.51 per barrel in New York.  That's the biggest one-day price rise in a month.
  • Google is launching its "scan and match" service for Google Music users to store copies of their songs online, offering for free what Apple charges $25 a year for. The service, which is part of Google Play, is now live. It saves uploading time for those who want to save their music libraries online.

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