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Wednesday Morning Business Brief

January 23, 2013, 5:32 AM

Wednesday Morning Business Brief

Strong earnings reports from big U.S. companies helped push the Dow Jones industrial average to its eighth gain in nine sessions today. The Dow closed up 62.51 points, or 0.5 percent, at 13,712.21. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 6.53, or 0.4 percent, to 1,492.51. The Nasdaq composite average rose 8.47, or 0.3 percent, to 3,143.18. Benchmark crude oil rose to surpass $96.

  • World stock markets fell today ahead of a U.S. vote on raising the nation's borrowing limit. Analysts say, however, that stocks have room for gains if U.S. lawmakers make progress on raising the debt ceiling. The Nikkei tumbled 2.1 percent. Benchmark crude oil fell but was still over $96 a barrel. The dollar was up against the euro fell but against the yen.
  • House Republicans are regrouping on the debt limit in an attempt to delay a showdown next month that they feared they might lose. The House votes today on GOP-sponsored legislation that would give the government enough borrowing leeway to meet three months' worth of obligations. That means putting aside for now attempts to extract spending cuts from Democrats in return for an increase in the borrowing cap.
  • Prime Minister David Cameron says he'll offer British citizens a vote on whether to leave the European Union if his party wins the next election. It's a move that could trigger alarm among fellow member states. In a speech today in central London, Cameron said public disillusionment with the EU is "at an all-time high" and that terms of Britain's membership in the bloc should be revised and the country's citizens should have a say.
  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has alerted its global suppliers that it will immediately drop them if they subcontract their work to factories that haven't been authorized by the discounter. Wal-Mart's stricter contracting rule, along with other changes to its policy, comes amid increasing calls for better safety oversight after a deadly fire at a Bangladesh factory that supplied clothing to Wal-Mart and other retailers.

You can find more business news on the Back to Business page of KELOLAND.com.

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