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Wednesday Evening Business Brief

December 4, 2013, 5:16 PM

Wednesday Evening Business Brief
  • Stocks are ending mostly lower as investors weigh conflicting economic reports and assess the outlook for Federal Reserve stimulus. Major U.S. indexes moved between gains and losses before ending lower today. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25 points to close at 15,889. The S&P 500 index fell two points to 1,792. The Nasdaq composite was flat at 4,038.
  • The price of oil is up for a fourth straight day as the government reports the first drop in crude oil supplies in 11 weeks. Benchmark crude for January delivery rose $1.16 to $97.20 a barrel today in New York. Oil has gained 5.3 percent over the past four trading sessions. Meanwhile, the average price for a gallon of gas remains at $3.26 -- down 3 cents from a week ago.
  • Activist investor Carl Icahn is seeking the support of Apple shareholders as he tries to pressure the iPhone maker into spending more of its cash to buy back the company's stock. Icahn is upping the ante with a shareholder proposal that he submitted to Apple last week. Apple confirmed it has received Icahn's proposal, but didn't reveal anything about its content.
  • Paper copies of Newsweek will again roll off the presses starting next year. Editor-in-Chief Jim Impoco says the news magazine's owners, IBT Media, want a business model where a weekly print magazine would be mainly supported by subscription fees instead of advertising. Impoco says they haven't decided how much the magazine will cost, but it's expected to be less than $10 per issue.
  • The digital music spinoff of headphone maker Beats Electronics is set to launch in January. Beats Music is based on the platform of MOG, the subscription music service that Beats bought in July 2012. MOG costs $10 a month for unlimited playback of more than 15 million tracks on mobile devices.

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