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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

January 16, 2013, 5:26 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief

The Dow closed lower today, pulled down by a loss in Boeing stock following more problems with the company's new 787 aircraft. The Dow lost 24 points to close at 13,511. The broader indexes finishing with modest gains. The S&P 500 rose less than one point to 1,473, while the Nasdaq composite climbed seven points to 3,118.

  • U.S. air safety investigators are heading to Japan, as are representatives of Boeing. They plan to join Japanese investigators in a probe of problems plaguing Boeing's new 787. Japan's two biggest carriers, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, have grounded all of their 787s for safety checks, after one was forced to make an emergency landing. Battery fires and fuel leaks have been among the problems reported.
  • The Federal Reserve's beige book survey finds holiday shopping, strong auto sales and a recovering housing market boosted the economy in most parts of the United States from the middle of November through December. The Fed says 12 of its regional banking districts reported "modest or moderate" growth in the final weeks of 2012. Only St. Louis said growth had slowed.
  • An influential group of business executives is pushing a plan to increase the full retirement age to 70 for both Social Security and Medicare. The Business Roundtable's plan also calls for the health insurance program for older Americans be partially privatized. It would protect those 55 and older from cuts, but younger workers would face significant changes.
  • Fare watchers say United Airlines is trying again to raise prices after a similar move failed earlier this month. JPMorgan analyst Jamie Baker and FareCompare.com CEO Rick Seaney say United raised prices today for travel within the U.S. by up to $20 per round trip. United tried a $10 bump on Jan. 3 but rolled it back when other airlines left fares unchanged.

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